Read an Excerpt
Introduction The writing of this introduction was no easy task. You would think it would be. “Talk about the experience you had in putting this anthology together,” my publisher tells me enthusiastically. I was excited at first. I re-read the poems and began writing this tale of traveling through mountains and forests of words and experiences; I dressed up metaphors and practiced clever uses of alliteration... blah, blah, blah. It just didn't fit. I switched gears and started writing about the process it took in putting together a book from beginning to end, but I added too many details and the task seemed so daunting written down that I knew I would lose the reader. Truth is I've gone through many things personally in conjunction with putting this book together, which contributed to the loss of the perfect intro. September, I was a bridesmaid and part time wedding planner for my best friend's wedding. That same night, she revealed to me that she had cancer. The first week of October, my Uncle called all the family together from out of town because his lung cancer was progressing rapidly. A week later my 4 year old had an asthma attack when he's never had any respiratory problems before. He had to spend the night in the hospital. My uncle passed October 18. I was a wreck. It wasn't until I had a quick moment of stillness and silence that the words flowed onto the computer screen.
I've had a love/hate relationship with poetry for as long as I can remember. The thing I love about poetry is how emotionally deep you can take a poem. You are allowed to dive deep within yourself and pull out emotions and thoughts that you had never uttered before without feeling ashamed or having to explain yourself. Poetry allows you to be free. Sometimes a period behind a sentence is too much and poetry says it's okay if you don't want to use it. Sometimes you don't feel linear-lining every sentence beneath the other one with all lines left aligned on the paper. Sometimes your feelings are jarring and erratic and words need to be right aligned or bigger than the word next to it. Poetry gives the poet this outlet to do as he/she pleases and it is ok.
Another love I have for poetry is how it transcends age and time. People from all walks of life can relate. It is a universal language. Just as in this anthology, there are poems from middle school age students to senior adults. It is hard to tell the difference. That is poetry-the ability to speak to the heart and not the head. My hate for poetry is how abstract it can be. Instead of simply stating the message, poets often tuck and roll it into this flowery language and metaphors that force me to think and find a connection with. Just tell me what you want me to know; I don't want to ponder the meaning.
This anthology is one to be devoured though. You have your abstract poems that force you to go deeper than the surface layer and then there are poems that directly tell you the meaning. That's what I love most about this book. It's not about the hours deciding which font to use or trying to figure out a front cover that's appealing to the eye, but it is the words inside of the book. Yes those things are important, but it is the voice of each poet that speaks to the reader's heart, as you read this, it is the stories of those young and old that collectively come together to bask in the sunlight of your mind, and it is the possibility to change lives, one poem at a time. This is the beauty of poetry.