National Poetry Month: My Journey Through Poetry

National Poetry Month: My Journey Through Poetry

Where I started, where I've been, and where I'm going with my poetry.
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National Poetry Month is the month that celebrates the creative art of writing poetry. Contemporary writers pay homage to the poets before us and write new pieces of our own.

My very first exposure to poetry was a book called "The D- Poems Of Jeremy Bloom" by Gordon Korman. The collection told the hilarious adventures of a boy in middle school while taking a semester of poetry instead of pottery like he wanted.

Every poem in this collection rhymed, so I thought all poetry had to rhyme. I wrote only a few poems in middle school because of this. The first poem I ever remember writing was about an upperclassman I was obsessed with for three years. I still primarily saw myself as a short story writer but enjoyed creating poetry as well.

It wasn't until I was admitted into the Creative Writing program at my high school that I embraced the possibility that I could be a poet as well as a short story writer. My teacher taught me to write poetry without rhymes in them. On one hand, I didn't want to change my style, but on the other hand, it was nice to finally create poetry without rhymes.

It was years later I wished again that I was never broken from rhyming because it is such a skill to rhyme.

In the four years of high school, my poetry portfolio was just as large as my short story portfolio. As I read Shakespearean Sonnets, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and others. I was able to use to my own life experiences to try and emulate their styles.

Free form poetry is the easiest for me, however, the standard four line and four stanza is what I stick with. Sonnets are beautiful but too hard and complicated to write, while Haiku is short and too limiting.

In 2004, I received two certificates for Excellence in Poetry from The International Library of Poetry. By that year, I had also published three poems in two university presses and two poems in the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Competition booklets. My dream of becoming a writer who also wrote poems had shifted to dreaming of becoming a poet who also wrote short stories.

As I finished writing the pieces for my first poetry anthology, I not only published more poetry in various community poetry anthologies, I also published more poems in university presses, Hessler's Poetry booklets, read poetry for various community open mics, and workshopped my poetry through local writing groups and college courses.

A few years ago, I felt I took my poetry career to the next level by choosing a pseudonym, created a few online platforms, and finished compiling my second poetry anthology.

For my poetic future I hope to publish my poetry anthologies, finish my third poetry anthology then start on my fourth anthology, and of course, write more poetry!

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter and find samples of my work on YouTube and my main website.

Cover Image Credit: Kimberly Steele

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