#GreaterSeattle: Writing poetry without barriers

Actually about seven years old when I first discovered poetry. I was living in a group home and there was a writing session of some sort that was going on. And I felt more when I was younger that I
didn’t have a lot of talent. But mainly like my favorite poet is Langston Hughes. And my son’s middle name is Langston. I love Langston Hughes. So I guess that’s definitely a big inspiration when it comes to my writing. But also I guess just every day things, people that I know, things that I have gone through, my son now. Yeah, and just always trying to see the world in, like, a different angle. I used to always tell people that I don’t
see the world in black and white. I make my own colors. And that’s kind of where I’ve gone with my
writing. I like playing with words a lot. So I mean like metaphors are a big part of my writing. I like to say when I write like my goal is
to make people uncomfortable to like shift around in their seats and whatnot because then I know I’ve reached my goal. I’ve done exactly what I need to do. Kind of talk about things that people just
don’t necessarily talk about openly. I don’t believe that writing should have any
barriers of any sort. Whether it’s quotation marks, or any sorts
of punctuation toward the language you speak, the way you perform it, the way you read it. And so for me that’s big to say because I’m a very big critic of my own work. I think most artists of any sort are. But I think that’s just one thing that really shapes
my writing it’s just having this whole uncensored kind
of theme to it. And just trying to find any way possible to
talk about things that maybe day to day things, like racism and the whole Black Lives Matter movement. You know, sexism, anything like that I just want to make sure that I can talk about it. When I turned 18 I came to Seattle from various
other places and ended up being homeless. And so, while I was homeless it was like this
kind of like whole battle between my anxiety and lots of other things I was dealing with
on my own with trying to get somewhere with my writing and continuing to do that. And then I found out that I was pregnant. And that kind of you know for the most part
I thought it would — normally, I think it would send most people into like you know
a downward spiral. Like all these things are going wrong and
I figure I’m bringing another life into this world. For me it made me more inspired to kind of
make me work harder even though it was really really hard. I came up with Maverick because it means like
“nonconformist” and “free-spirit,” you know? So I really really think that one thing I
want for my son is for him to make sure that he knows that he can always be whoever he
wants to be and I’m going to be there to support him. But also that he has to you know, he’s the
one who has to build his own barriers and his own limits. And that’s what I really really want for him
is kind of be free. Because I did not have that control.

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