Poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
There is a reason to why so many poets have written poems about their late grandmothers – the impact of a vóinha’s existence in one’s life is likely to be life altering. Grief, like love, has a unique blueprint specifically tailored for each person’s ribcage.
Viva, by Definition was written in the aftermath of the passing of my grandmother, Neusa Tavares Soares, a moment when I experienced a degree of acute pain I was completely oblivious to. It explores the important role of elderly female family figures and how their absence can bring havoc to the lives of the loved ones who stay, reflecting on the poignant connections between the equal amounts of love and sadness found in grief.
This collection is my journey of loving and losing my vóinha, forever the love of my life. I portray both my dealings with grief and my healing process, much of which I credit to writing, so that others going through deep bereavement can feel seen and understood, especially when faced with grief illiteracy and people’s inadequate expectations for their recovery. My grief is tailor made for my ribcage.
Larissa Freitas (She/Her) is a Latina poet from Brazil who believes in the transformative and healing powers of literature. Her Portuguese poems and short stories appear in six anthologies and online magazines, and she was featured in the 2021 VI Lisbon Poetry Festival. Her English poems have been published and/or are forthcoming in works by the Los Angeles Poets Society, the Alebrijes Review, the Fahmidan Journal, the Latinx Lit Audio Magazine, Off-Topic Publisher and La Raiz Magazine. She was the first ever international student accepted into the Community Literature Initiative poetry publishing course, where she wrote her first poetry collection, Shaped, and now works as faculty. Viva, by Definition is her first individual publication.