The dream of every writer is to publish their work. For University of Findlay Creative Writing alum Alaina Lightfoot ’15 this became a reality when she published her poetry collection, “Namely Art & Love” in 2019.
The collection explores the most beautiful and painful parts of being human. “Really all the poetry in it is about the wonderful complex nature of falling in and out of love, with others and with yourself through creative processes,” Lightfoot said. “I think, or at least I hope, it speaks to heartbreaks and triumphs that are universal.”
Despite always wanting to publish a book, Lightfoot didn’t initially intend to write “Namely Art & Love.” She has been writing poetry her whole life, and in high concentrations over the last year and a half. Originally, she compiled some of her poems into a different, much shorter collection called “Moonglow.” “Namely Art & Love” started to come together after sending one of her poems to a friend who responded by saying “That is everything I love that you write about. Namely, art and love.” This was the catalyst to give Lightfoot a more comprehensive through line to start putting pieces together. “Once I had the theme it was easy to choose the pieces that tell the narrative of the book,” she said.
Accomplishing a goal she’s wanted her whole life has been a surreal experience for Lightfoot. “I won’t lie there is a fair bit of impostor syndrome that has come with it, but when I hear how it’s touching people’s lives or that someone connected with my work, it’s one of the best feelings in the world,” she said.
While at Findlay, Lightfoot double majored in musical theatre, was actively involved in the honorary theatre fraternity Alpha Psi Omega, choir, University Singers, theatre productions, and even worked in the Office of Admissions. One of her most impactful experiences while at Findlay, was workshopping with her fellow English students. “It was a really great chance to see the creative process of so many of my peers and they were all so fantastic,” she said. In the acknowledgments of her book, Lightfoot describes Findlay’s faculty as caring, patient, and understanding. “I got into my English major late, so just having an academic advisor who worked to help me make an English degree happen was amazing,” she said. “Then, in every class just having professors who were so patient with me and so understanding with me when college life got overwhelming really made all the difference in the world.”
“Just going for it!” That’s what Lightfoot credits her success too. “If I really want to get something done, I start moving full speed ahead and looking into how to make that happen, and I think that’s helped me accomplish absolutely everything I’ve been proud of artistically.” The “just go for it” work ethic was instilled into Lightfoot during her time at Findlay, allowing her to. “The sense of community, responsibility, drive, and ambition that the environment at UF fostered in me is absolutely invaluable and I don’t think I could have gained that anywhere else,” she said.
While Lightfoot works full-time job as an Early Careers Campus Relations Specialist and Recruiter at Owens Corning, she plans to continue writing and publishing her poetry, with hopes to create a second collection based around travel.