By Alyssa Weston
When faced with adversity, many people use creative outlets to overcome their hardships.
For freshman computer science major, Gigi Vigorito, writing is a way for her to express her feelings.
She decided to self-publish a collection of poems titled “With a Grain of Salt” inspired by strained relationships with friends and family but mostly influenced by her mother’s death in January.
Vigorito’s mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but she ultimately experienced a fatal opioid overdose.
“It’s just sad because with addiction you know that they are going to die or get better,” she said.
According to the young author, the book has an overall theme of overcoming pain.
“When you read my book, I want you to be able to relate it to any hardship that you’ve been through,” she said.
The book title, “With a Grain of Salt,” was inspired by times of hurt that Vigorito had to grow past; she was always just told to “take it with a grain of salt.”
“As bad as things get at the end of the day, nothing’s that serious. You just have to take it with a grain of salt to get over it,” she said “The book goes from … hurting to recognizing the hurt and overcoming it.”
Vigorito said she typically writes dark fantasies but wanted her first published book to be easily digested for readers. She hopes her first book can open a gateway of possibilities for people to find her work.
“Everybody likes things that they can relate to. So, I figured, I’ve always wanted to get my [writing] out there one way or another. This was the first series of things I’ve written and had ideas for the art and was able to visualize,” she said.
Although each poem is not individually titled, Vigorito said the beauty of her favorite poem in the collection may be interpreted completely different by a reader.
“One day, I was really upset about my mom passing. I just wrote a poem, kind of like, ‘If there was one more chance that I had, I would like to go to Mount Olympus to be able to see you again, or go to the Plutonium Shore,’ so it has Greek references.”
Trystyn Thornton of Louisville, Kentucky, illustrated the book. Thornton and Vigorito were classmates at Niles McKinley High School in Niles, Ohio.
Thornton said her favorite illustration from the book is a dagger.
“With it, I decided to draw the dagger as an Italian stiletto knife. There’s no real deep meaning behind this, but it’s something that I wasn’t entirely familiar with. I tried my hardest with it, and it turned out to be my favorite from the entire project,” she said.
Overall, Thornton said she enjoyed the book and thinks it’s “absolutely amazing.”
“It’s beaming with feeling at every turn of the page. The words flow seamlessly, and the raw emotion is something that anyone who loves poetry will enjoy,” she said.
Vigorito hopes the poems can inspire confidence in anyone going through a difficult time.
“With a Grain of Salt” can be purchased for $8 at www.blurb.com/b/9544772-with-a-grain-of-salt.