Ruminations | Camila Pernisco | Literary Studies

Camila Pernisco (she/her), Literary Studies, Minor: Visual Studies
Instagram: @camila.pernisco
Creative ProjectCamila Pernisco, the writer and student who developed "Ruminations"

Project Description
“Ruminations” is a creative publishing project composed of nonfiction writings (essays, lyric, & flash) by current Lang student, Camila Pernisco, paired in collaboration with illustrations by Parsons/Lang student, Chris Gentile. The project, taking its final form as a physical, softbound book, works to serve as accessible literature for the writer’s surrounding academic and artistic community, while also serving as a document, or rather, a personal memento, of Pernisco’s self-growth and healing throughout her 19th year. Thematically, “Ruminations” centers on womanhood, the writer’s Californian heritage, and familial relationships.

What Form will your Final Project Take?
physical, softbound book

Who was supporting you in with work?
Bureen Ruffin, Lang Professor of First Year Writing

How has this project has been impactful or transformative — for you personally or for those this work has impacted:
Given that this project was developed with the space of academic and artistic experimentation (research and creative workshopping primarily) I’ve been able to reach a deeper sense of self While working on the project, I was able to explore the contemporary small press publishing community and, from there, discover a passion for the creative and technical aspects of bookmaking. I came into understanding stylistic interests I hadn’t necessarily anticipated from the project going in. In finding this new-found entanglement for creative publishing, I found myself very joyfully looking over paper samples, spending hours laying out visual & written work, and fully invested in the pursuits & products of other young writers. In total, this project has helped me solidify that this passion for publishing is truly much closer to heart than I ever thought it was; the making of a book composed of my inner ruminations resulted in an ultimate meditation and realization.

What would you do differently? How would you advise a student who is going to do something similar?
I recommend others to approach their creative pursuits less timidly – it is, after all, a learning experience; a space provided under which individuals, both academically and artistically, can experiment. That being said, I felt a bit nervous starting to lay-out the book as I was considering each aspect that went into compiling a wholesome, literary project with great intention. One night, after a moment of procrastination, I decided to print all the written work I’d hoped to include in the final product and I laid out a ratty first draft, chunky with bent pages, post-its, and scotch tape. While experimenting with this layout, I came to terms with the fact that imperfections, like those loosely collaged pages, could serve poetically – as the physical proof of this coming-of-age moment; such imperfections contribute moxie.

Are you going to publish or print your work? If so, where?
Printed copies of Ruminations will be available to my artistic and academic communities of Los Angeles & New York in late September 2022. In the meantime, digital copies will be available to view. Both print and digital copies will be accessible free of charge.

illustrated cover by student & artist, Chris GentileThe very rough, physical first draft of "Ruminations" Pernisco started one late summer night

Short summary
This project has been immensely healing, more so than I had initially anticipated. When I started writing some of the pieces that I’ve included in the final product a year ago, I could have never imagined that they’d serve as a sort of marker for personal growth and resilience. In working alongside the Eugene Lang Opportunity Awards, Professor Ruffin, and fellow students, I’ve been able to really immerse myself into the very full process of bookmaking. Additionally, while working on this project, I was able to work alongside a Los Angeles small press publisher, Kate Caruso of pois é press, where I was able to receive even more guidance in the technical, academic, research & artistic aspects of the contemporary creative publishing industry. That being said, Ruminations, approached from an angle of experimentation has cemented my absolute admiration for the written word & its visual counterparts.

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