Reading in Tamagawa Garden

Luci Edwards

Luci Edwards, Essay Contest Winner in the in the Upper-level Category, Best Essay, 2022-2023

Luci Edwards

According to Luci Edwards, winner of the essay prize for the Upper-level category, one of the contributing factors in discovering their “greatest passion” was the realization that, in English, “Your professors want to know what material you connect with most, and why.”  Feeling encouraged to explore their interest in speculative fiction, but in horror more particularly,  they enrolled in Dr. Paul Watkins’s English 330 course on Speculative Narrative.  There they wrote their award winning essay—“Monstrous Pregnancy, Queer Bodies, and Male Anxiety: ‘Bloodchild’ and Other Pregnant Men of Speculative Horror”—an essay their instructor has described as “engaging, thoroughly researched, and thoughtfully contextualized.”    

“Horror,” Luci writes, “has always captivated my imagination, whether it’s the written word or on the screen. I have long found the trope of body horror especially fascinating, as it seems counterintuitive that humans should want to consume such distressing media. The Gothic genre and modern horror have consistently served as meditations on our deepest traumas and most intimate anxieties, and I believe they are pieces worth a great deal more study and credibility than they are typically afforded.” 

Now in their fourth and final year of an English Honours degree, Luci admits to a lifelong fascination with stories and early love for Greek mythology.  As their essay indicates, in fact, the male pregnancy trope in fiction likely begins with Zeus giving birth to Athena out of his head. Both the historical breadth and thematic nature of their essay demonstrate their thinking of “stories as though they were time capsules, expressing the anxieties and ideals of the times they were made.”

In addition to having developed a traditional foundation throughout their treasured time at VIU, Luci has three more contemporary texts to share that everyone should give a try:  the Graphic Novel series Bone by Jeff Smith, the television show Bojack Horseman by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, and the film American Psycho by Mary Harron.  Having such a diversity of interests (including the love of frogs) has no doubt contributed to their success, as has their understanding that what matters at VIU is the “fluid exchange of ideas.”