Marcelene (Marci) Delcampo, junior writing & linguistics and Spanish double major, said that she strives to use her writing as a creative voice for the Latinx experience at Georgia Southern.
Delcampo particularly expressed an affinity for writing about discrimination against the African-American and Latinx people as well as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and sexuality.
Her penchant for social justice could also be seen in her taste in literature. Danez Smith, one of her favorite writers, is quite vocal about civil issues. They speak a lot about discrimination against black people as well as LGBTQIA+ rights and the correlation between black people and LGBTQIA+—and thereby their views on America and police brutality.
“They are just open and inspiring and that’s exactly how I want to be. And I just, I love it so much,“ said Delcampo.
In many ways, she is not afraid of being bold like Smith and stepping out of her comfort zone in her craft.
Delcampo once—despite holding a sharp indifference towards the sciences and charging them with being singularly culpable for her not having a 4.0 GPA— wrote a poem on skin cells inspired by what she had learned in a science classroom about the inability to regain the skin cells that have been lost and how it figuratively relates to the inability to regain a loved one after their death.
As an honors student, she is currently working on a creative thesis, which she hopes will one day become a published chapbook of poetry.
Delcampo explained that she specifically chose to write a creative thesis because she has an intense desire to express her creativity in a way she likes and simply prefers doing creative writing.
Delcampo explained that she once had difficulty articulating her professional aspirations to her parents and loved ones.
You always hope when you’re growing up that your parents are going to see what you see and understand what you’re explaining to them, like what you want to do with your life. Like, oh, I want to be a doctor. See, that’s easy to see. But, oh, I want to be a writer. That’s not that easy to see. You know, that’s kind of a hit or miss.
However, after a few semesters at GS, her writing professors helped her with the ability to elaborate on her future with their instruction and great encouragement. Delcampo added that the “love from the professors is crazy.”
“It’s nice to see and have these people that are like, yeah, I see what you’re doing here. And I see how it’s going to work, and I see how you’re going to succeed,” said Delcampo.
Delcampo said that her biggest muse for her writing is also her greatest challenge—her anxiety. She was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She explained that this means her nerves can at times make her overly critical of her abilities as a writer, thereby making it difficult for her to write.
“The only challenges have really been myself thinking too hard about something or letting anxiety take over,” said Delcampo.
Conversely, her anxiety is also what fuels her art, and art is something that she has been able to benefit from therapeutically.
When Delcampo has a bad day, she will sometimes write a poem about someone or something after a negative experience in her life putting all her emotions and energy into the poem. Then she will wake up the next morning feeling much better and is able to evoke love and forgiveness and find the good in the situation.
“I will edit the poem into to something better, and I will still take that energy and that emotion that I felt in that poem and make that the center and just edit it to where it’s different but simultaneously the same,” said Delcampo.
Another favorite writer of Delcampos is Edgar Allan Poe. Poe made an impression on her at a very young age. In middle school, some of her classmates dismissed Poe’s work as depressing, but Delcampo was able to find richness in his dark, romantic style.
Similarly, with her poem entitled “I love her more on autumn nights,” Delcampo was able to find beauty in something that may make others uncomfortable: sex. Delcampo wanted her poetry to make sex come off as lighter topic and not a harsh or a “wrong thing to do” as it is sometimes portrayed on TV and in the media.
She explained that the poem was simply “meant to make sex look pretty” and not necessarily something to be dominated by men.
“Falling together / like leaves between the sheets / of a beautiful composition,” wrote Delcampo in “i love her more on autumn nights.”
After undergraduate, Delcampo said that she would like to pursue an entry-level position as a technical writer and write poetry on the side.
With Delcampo’s future in mind, she later said that would like to spend the last of her days with a husband and little pug dog in Spain as an English to Spanish translator, preferably somewhere rural like Seville or Granada (the open space would be great for the pug).
Nonetheless, no matter where life takes her, Delcampo said, “I’ll be as happy and unapologetic and compassionate as ever. Because I’m already a very bold person and I want my writing to exemplify that and show that, too.”
Marci Delcampo is an assistant poetry editor for Miscellany Magazine of the Arts