I am often awoken in the night or early morning by phrases that I can’t get out of my head. So I trudge sleepily to the studio and jot them down in a notebook. The sleep fades from my brain and soon the verses are coming faster and the lines are forming something fathomable. I switch on my broken laptop and play with the lines until they make a poem. And now, finally, I can return to sleep, knowing that I will edit in the morning.
My inspiration to start writing poetry again came from my own pain. Instead of journaling, I wrote poems. And then it spread to my friends’ pain, to my family’s, to pain I wasn’t quite intimately familiar with but wanted to express and so I did so through different created characters.
I noticed one day that I had a group of poems that were very similar in nature and that they were saying something important. So I set out to create a theme—the title came first: Outcry. Then each poem would explore the definition of the title. The vision of the poems all being from the voices of women would come later. Suddenly the book was about feminism and the struggles of women who had gone through rape or trauma, who were surviving various mental illnesses and loss, and who were protesting different causes.
I was writing with a purpose now. Some of the poems were very dark, others were triumphant and some were both. I had given voice to myself and to these different women; I had given voice to many things that society was loathe to talk about, and I knew I wanted to publish it. I wanted to put it in the hands of others to help people better understand, to help people heal, to give hope.
My poetic influences are, ironically, mostly men. I love ee cummings, Pablo Neruda, and Thoreau. Now whether or not you can actually see their influence when you read my poetry is a question I cannot answer. But I also find that I am heavily influenced by music—mostly female-lead bands. Lyrics are the most important part of music for me, the words having heavy influence on my life and mood. I even have a playlist for Outcry. Oftentimes, I look to lyrics for inspiration for my poetry.
At the time of this posting my campaign is 7% funded. I want to thank all of my supporters and ask if we can keep that train rolling. Remember donating only $1 dollar gets you entered into Tipsy Lit’s giveaway, the winner of which gets a Skype chat with me and a signed copy of Outcry! For more information and other perks, please see my first post here.