At thirteen, after seeing a poem that had been spray painted on the side of a building, I was hooked. I went to school and wrote what I'd seen on my desk, unable to keep it out of my head.
My teacher noticed that I'd defaced school property and was prepared to send me home with a note to my mother (oh no) until he read the words. "Do you know what this is?" He asked me. "It's something I read on the way here." I told him. "This is a poem...do you know about poetry?" He continued. I didn't answer him right away. It was another week before I would express interest in learning more. He gave me a paperback collection of poetry and short stories written by African-Americans during the Harlem Renaissance.
And that was only the beginning of my obsesson.
Over the years I've fallen in love with the whole of literature. As poetry will always be my first love when it comes to art, I credit Countee Cullen, Robert Frost, Sonia Sanchez, Anne Sexton, Arthur Rimbaud and several others who have encouraged me in ways that they could never imagine...not only as a writer, but as a thinker--a dreamer. During my junior high and high school years, these pioneers had become my mentors, my emotional sponsors...my best friends. I thank the Heavens that they were published...for I have no idea where I'd be if they hadn't been there for me (if only pertinently) during the most impressionable years of my life.
Now in my late twenties, I have concentrated more on writing fiction for the past few years. Recently, I took a look at some of my old poetry journals and was totally shocked by what I was reading--what I had written over twelve years before. These were my unofficial diaries, words I would die before I'd share...outside of a few submissions for English class assignments. After years of harboring my work, I decided October 15, 2008, that I would take what I considered the best of these journals and publish my first poetry collection. And thus, School Girl: Poetry and Prose of a Pre and Post Adolescent was born-- a prime example of how far and wide a little positive influence and inspiration can travel.
To learn more about me and my work, please feel free to visit me on the web at www.anardanashai.webs.com!