Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a young woman who moved across the country in middle school and began writing poetry to cope with the challenges of being in a new place. Fast forward several years to 2016 where police brutality was brought to the forefront for everyone to view what was happening and I knew that I couldn’t keep quiet any longer. As one who believes that poets give voice to the human experience, I wanted to give a voice to others. For that reason, I write the poetry of life, poetry about life, and poetry for life. I write so others don’t have to feel alone in their life experiences. The topics vary from love and heartbreak to inspiration or creative stories and everything in between, but the general category remains the same- poetry of life.
Why is poetry important?
Poetry is important because it gives a voice to the human experience. It’s a way to express those things that are going on around us, whether positive or negative. Sometimes poetry helps inspire others in difficult situations, while other times it is a healthy way to vent frustrations. I feel it is a pure form of art and expression.
How does a poem begin for you, with an idea, a form or an image?
For me it typically begins with an event, feeling, or story. For example, a few years ago I had a break up where everyone was asking “Why don’t you hate this guy now?” and my response became the very first piece I posted to my YouTube channel Guilty Until Forgiven. That was based on the breakup and the questions- events that were happening at the time. My piece I Wish That I was Happy, started with a feeling. I was looking around at others who had bubbly, infectious personalities and really drew others in and began to wish I was like them. In that piece, I worked through what I wish I was and in the end accepted that I should be content with who I am. My pieces inspired from stories begin much like those beginning from my own events, the difference is the event didn’t happen in my own life. In that case it could come from a news story, something a friend had happen, or even a show that brought up a situation I wanted to speak on.
Where is your favorite place to write and why?
My favorite place to write is my room. Depending on the topic writing can be an emotional experience for me and I like the freedom to feel the feelings while writing. When I write angry or sad pieces, I’m usually feeling pretty angry or sad and wouldn’t want to show that anywhere that I didn’t feel 100% comfortable.
What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your written voice?
I’d say that my speaking voice and written voice are very much the same. I don’t use big fancy, words and I try to keep the flow of my pieces similar to conversation.
What are your thoughts about social media and poetry? Do you think it helps the poet or hinders the poet?
I think social media and poetry go hand in hand! Personally, I post 1 poem to my YouTube channel every Wednesday. I was hesitant to post for years for fear of others “stealing” my work. I quickly abandoned that idea by realizing that if something needs to be said, the worry of others taking credit for your work prevents such a vital message from reaching those that need to hear it. In addition to posting my pieces, I use social media to spread poetry and connect with other poets. Before my Twitter I had a hard time finding other poets to connect with, but since becoming more involved I’ve met tons of poets. It’s really refreshing to see that there are others interested in the same things as you and to see what they’re doing. I’ve met poets who run magazines, have podcasts, created poetry mixtapes, have blogs, and others who create videos just like myself, but I wouldn’t have known any of them without social media.
What is the best advice you have for other poets?
The best advice I have for other poets is to know why you’re writing and let that motivate you in the times you want to quit. There are plenty of days I want to stop writing, but by reminding myself that I write poetry of life in an effort to give a voice to others, I become recommitted to my vision and push through. Dory from Finding Nemo said to “Just keep swimming” and my advice is similar “Just keep writing”.
What do you see in the future for poets, do you believe that poetry will regain its strength over time?
I believe poetry will regain strength but it may be a slow process as others will need to begin to appreciate it more. With the rise in interest towards “lyricists” in the music industry I feel it will be a short shift to appreciate the art of poets.
Who is your favorite poet? And why?
I wouldn’t dare name 1 poet, I love so many. Most of my current favorites are in the UK.
8 Hours of Coffee Everyday
We drink coffee everyday
Because we hate the way
We’ve been programmed to work day in and day out.
Inside we doubt
We’ll ever be content doing 9 to 5.
We want to be alive
But instead we deprive
Our families of our being present,
And convince ourselves our time is being spent
The lies we
Tell ourselves to calm the storm within.
That we’ve been
Doing good work, that when
We retire we’ll do more, OR
We’ll be there for
Our family but for everyone else I don’t have time.
Why spend your prime
Isolated working but not having any fun?
Why let anyone
Take so much of your time?
We drink coffee everyday
Because we hate the way
We hope the world of work will change
But we feel we have no power to rearrange
It. I guess we drink coffee in the morning because it’s something we control.
We use it to console
The piece of us that dies every time we spend 8 hours fulfilling someone else’s vision instead of our own.