Davidson Fellows - 2012 Fellow Kamden Hilliard


Kamden Hilliard

$10,000 Scholarship Recipient

Age: 18
Mililiani, HI
Category: Literature
Project Title: “Reflections on Everything There Ever Was.” _______ ______ _______ ________


Kamden’s portfolio, Reflections on Everything There Ever Was, is a creative writing portfolio containing poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and small bits of drama. He set out to write a piece of work that not only explored the concept of the completeness, but personal completeness. The portfolio recounts his personal experiences with mental illness and other topics, yet the collection refuses to be boxed into that ‘label’. The portfolio is intentionally large in scope and subject matter. He was inspired to complete this project during his senior year in as he saw his classmates label him “athlete” then “poet” as his interests changed. There is nothing innately wrong with these identifiers, but he was and will always be more than those one word descriptors. In fact, his portfolio is a reflection of himself in the most basic sense. His portfolio is human. It is great in scope, almost too great, it is unbalanced, and through all of this, it manages its own moments of contentment.

The work is significant because of its emphasis on the wholeness of things. Many works, especially those that deal with mental illness, focus expressly on that defining characteristic. In this work Kamden shows the reader not only the defining points of a person, but he frames them within a human. The work is not about mental illness, alcoholism, or any other large ambiguous theme. The work is about how humans manage to find their way through the world.

Kamden writes, “Writing, in its most basic and essential nature is an egomaniac's dream. A poem or story is the physical and literary manifestation of the author's ideas. No matter how 'wide reaching' or 'universal,' the piece of writing it is still the author's mission statement.

Kamden is a graduate of Punahou School and recently participated in the YoungArts Competition sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. He will attend Sarah Lawrence College in the fall. He plans to study creative writing and education.

Click the links below to view hi-res photos of Kamden:

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Click here to view the full listing of the 2012 Davidson Fellows. 
Click here to view Kamden's press release.

For all media inquiries, please contact DavidsonFellowsMedia@davidsongifted.org

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