It’s not our fault America is the way that it is but at some point we must have the strength to look at ourselves and acknowledge our past so we can fix the present and future.
What’s American Hurt about?
It’s not an anti-American poetry book but it’s a look in the mirror. It’s me dipping my toe and reflecting on how optimistically great American patriotism is but how we fail to address our faults. It’s a good conversation starter on the not so good. I’m never gonna say America is great because so far we’re great at saying we’re great but we’re actually 27th in education, 27th in healthcare, and let’s not even get started on gender equality. This collection touches on socialism, pollution, capitalism, racism… just a bunch of isms.
What was the process of writing American Hurt?
It started as three poems about pollution and one day and a dozen poems later I had a theme. It’s the quickest I’ve ever written a book. Poetry makes me vulnerable so that was new for me to be so openly opinionated but at thirty I feel valid in that vulnerability. Book after book will be uncomfortable but I’m content with it. If releasing a book doesn’t make me nervous, I’m worried.
Why did I write American Hurt?
I want to start uncomfortable conversations until we’re comfortable enough to spark change. People are oblivious or numb to things they shouldn’t be.
What’s my favorite poem in this book and why?
“Roots” is my favorite. My mom used to ensure I knew black history. She didn’t want to depend on the local school district to teach me as she raised me to question everything. She would buy me black history computer games, books, movies, and we even took a trip to MLK’s house. She was right though. I only had one black history course in high school and I felt conned as we only covered black history half of the semester and the rest was economics. My mom made me watch Roots, Hidden Colors, and even My Friend Martin.
What do I want people to get from American Hurt?
A little realism from a woman who runs on optimism and caffeine. Fixing America’s issues isn’t a one person job, it’s an everybody type of thing. One person can’t change a decade of deeds but can lead the cavalry to change that ingrained system.
What the world needs right now?
Kindness, compassion, action – kindness is the easiest way to lead change. It’s cliche but it costs zero dollars to just be compassionate. We’re losing that village mentality. It’s easier to connect but harder to make connections now a days.
What doesn’t American Hurt touch on?
Feminism, sexism, Flint. I also missed a few isms. Maybe inspiration will find me and I’ll write a follow up, but poetry is hard. It scares me into feeling feelings I didn’t know existed. Feminism is real. It just gets complicated as some people are attacking feminism in a blanket fashion ignoring intersectional.
What has this book taught me?
Creatives are weird. Hyper-focus is amazing as I get older.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Creating the order and figuring out what to touch on and what not to. Stepping out of my optimism and challenging myself to address real issues even if I don’t want to.
What’s next writing wise?
Helping people self-publish. I also, want to lineup how many books I want to release next year. I wrote 7 books in 2019. I want to best myself and release eight. Also for 2020 I want to do spoken word events and create a new drama series.
What about the criticism this book might bring?
If someone is offended by this book -my perspective – than it’s okay because it wasn’t for them. 20 year old me would be upset. 30 year old me stands by my opinions and is okay with the criticism.
Hope you enjoy the book. It’s available on Amazon.
“Band aids can’t heal systematic racism, oppression, capitalism, poverty, or pollution. Only true change can.