Who Are You?
I am many things other than a poet. I am a seeker, a reporter, an observer. A dreamer, a schemer, and a lost child trying to find her way. I’m also an Aspie, which I consider a “difference” and in some degrees a blessing.
Why Do You Write?
My world is filled with color. In my head, I have walking angels, old gods, and the dust of the dead. Goddesses who wear the sky for their saris. Sparkle-eyed shamans and Catholic priests. Lost children. Crazy old men and women who speak to the spirits. The damned, wearing rope burns around their necks from their sudden jolt into the ether. The sainted, who wear shadows of the damned inside themselves, inside their own darkness. Dead-eyed new-collars, washed out like worn shirts and packing the bellies of commuter trains. Rainbows that shatter apart and bless the earth with their wet, crystalline shards. The night sky that sticks diamonds into her skin and calls them sacred. Bible kings and pagan queens. And an eight-year old frizzy-haired little girl who wears my face and stubbornly clings to my hand (and I would not have it any other way).
And that’s the short list.
You’ll have to read my poems to meet the rest of the crowd. Start off with Open the Door and go from there.
Who/What Inspires You?
- The Written Word: I was turned on to poetry in junior high via Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. I drank in what I read and began writing myself. Along the way, I’ve read Galway Kinnell, Nikki Giovanni, Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, and some Allen Ginsberg. And more are planned. One of my goals is to read as many poets as I can before I leave this planet.
- Music: I must admit that I am slightly more influenced by music that I am by poetry. I am a lover of just about any kind of music, and many times a song will inspire me take a piece of it away with me and write something. Most often in my player is The Doors (additionally, I have also read some of Jim Morrison’s poetry), R.E.M., U2, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, the Tragically Hip, and Paul Simon. When it comes to R&B and hip-hop, I tend to be more old school, although I veer towards a good mix: Boogie Down Productions, Lauryn Hill, Public Enemy, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Black Eyed Peas, and Prince, to name a few. Throw in some classical and world music, and you’ve about got it. All of the above tend to stick in my ear and come out my pen in some fashion.
- Performance and slam poetry: I came to it, brand new, in 2008. I have heard many good performance poets, both famous and yet-to-be-famous, who have influenced me in terms of sound, rhythm, and other poet elements. Specifically coming to mind are folks like Airea “Dee” Matthews, Jon Sands, Jamaal Vs. May, Patricia Smith, Alvin Lau, Donielle Monique, Ray McNeice, and Dave Nichols, as well as Columbus-area poets such as Barbara Fant, Will Evans, Louise Robertson, and Joanna Schroeder. And that, again, is a short list. I’d fill up the page if I listed everyone from this field who has inspired me.
Where Can I Read Your Stuff?
- Young American Poets (Click here to read my work)
- Poetry Super Highway (as Poet of the Week and in the 2009 Yom Hashoah Issue)
- Strong Verse (Click here to read my work)
- Spring Street (Columbus State Community College)
- Poets for Living Waters (Read my poem, “Gulf Song”)
- Awe In Autism (Featured for my poem, “You Don’t See It”)
Where Can I Hear You?
- Columbus Arts Festival (Featured Poet, 2009)
- Writing Wrongs Poetry at Urban Spirit Coffee Shop (Open Mic)
- Writer’s Block Poetry at Kafe Kerouac (Open Mic and First Draft Feature, 2009)
- The Poetry Forum at The Rumba Cafe (Open Mic)
- Mamapalooza, Columbus OH (Featured Poet, 2009)
- Poetry In The Park, Columbus, OH (Open Mic)
- Say That! Poetry Night, Columbus OH (Open Mic, 2008 and 2009)
- Poetry Super Highway Live (Open Mic, 2008 – present)
How Can I Book You or Contact You?
Raven’s Wing Poetry
1601 W. Fifth Avenue, #247
Columbus, OH 43212-2310
E-Mail: ravenswingpoetry AT gmail DOT com