I began writing poetry "officially" in 1996, since then, I have multiple published collections of poetry, and some of my work has been attached to a few anthologies and periodicals.
I believe that writing poetry is a beautiful torture. Poetry is where the soul is peeled and stripped of its outer shell, and left fully exposed. It's from that position of vulnerability, that poetry comes alive and is allowed to freely flow.
When asked recently what motivates me to write poetry, my response was simple, "I am inspired by living." In my humble opinion, poetry is an art of both music and meter. It seduces those who enjoy it with hypnotic rhythms. Rhythms that are created by the brilliance that accompanies the many forms of poetic expression. No other art form has transcended the ages like poetry has. Poetry is the foundation of song, it is the balancing equilibrium of liturgy and dance, and it forms and embodies the shapes that compels and inspires visual artists toward their greatest creations.
My earliest exposure to literature came by way of my mother. She was a Journalism major in college and from time to time, she would involve me when she had an assignment to complete. It was those initial experiences with my mom that helped to shape within me, a powerful draw toward poetry. The very first poem that I read was when I was twelve years old, my mother suggested that I read the Langston Hughes classic, 'Mother to Son'. From that moment on, I was hooked. My next impacting influences would come by way of my high school Literature teachers, and my college Literature professors. Through them, I became introduced to the 51 different styles of poetry, and thus, my addiction grew.
My Poetic Examples:
My poetic examples and style influences include some of the greatest poets of all time. I'm speaking of the likes of Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Anne Sexton, T.S. Eliot, Garcia Lorca, and James Wright. However, I am equally impacted by the styles of the contemporary poet vanguard, which includes great poets such as Black Ice, Asha Bandele, Gina Loring, and Mayda Del Valle. Their styles are varied and are as powerful as are the styles of our poetic forefathers and mothers.