It is such a pleasure to have Kimberly LaRocca here with us today. Kimberly has just published a book of her poetry called "A Black Girl's Poetry for the World". She has graciously agreed to share some of her poems with us today and also answer a few questions. Let's start with a poem, shall we?
A Poet’s Song
I live in verse.
I think in rhyme,
All the time.
The sadness that you may see,
Is all poetry to me.
The happiness you’re feeling now
Turns into rhyme for me somehow.
I don’t know how
Or even why.
It sings to me from deep inside.
And it makes up
The best of me,
Living, breathing poetry
Lovely Kim! Let's start with the obvious: how long have you been writing poetry?
I first started writing poetry in high school. I would write it for myself and I never actually showed it to anyone. I’ve always kept a journal and some of them I’ve had for over a decade. After having 3 car accidents in the span of two years I was forced to leave the workforce and I started writing every day. The collection from my book, A Black Girls Poetry for the World, was written in 3 or 4 months.
Your book is called "A Black Girl's Poetry for the World". What do you hope the world takes from your poetry?
In the book I have quite a few poems about loving yourself and knowing your self-worth. I hope that after reading my work people will feel better about themselves and realize that they are perfect just the way they are.
How would you define your poetic style?
I think my writing leans more towards contemporary. When I write I want the reader to feel what I’m writing. I want my words to be strong and passionate and evoke emotions. I want the reader to say WOW.
I know that you have also written some short stories. Which do you prefer writing, prose or poetry?
I would have to say poetry. Poetry is easy for me. During the course of a day I write down words that stand out to me or sentences that I hear and then I build the poem around it. I get ideas from reading the newspaper, reading a book or just watching a television show. I can be having a conversation and feel the need to stop mid sentence to write an idea down. I love a challenge though so I will most likely write a novel.
You have said "Poetry is beautiful because no one can deny your words, thoughts, dreams and fears." Is there a specific poet that inspires or touches you?
Yes, Alice Walker is one of my favorites. I love the way that her words flow. I also try to read the works of many different poets. I want to grow as a writer so I think it’s very important to read whatever genre I’m attempting to write.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your poems published?
Sure. I decided that I wanted to self-publish my first collection which I think was the best way for me. I looked at a few different publishers and decided to use CreateSpace. They did a wonderful job helping me through the process. I’m so glad I was able to personally be attached to each and every phase from writing to editing to publishing. It gave me such an appreciation for the entire process.
What is next for you? Do you have another literary project on the go?
Yes I do. I’m actually compiling poems that I have for my second collection. I write every day so I have quite a few poems completed. I would like my second book to be full of positive uplifting poems. I’m also working on a book of short horror stories and a novel or two. I hope to have them done by the end of the year.
Do you have a web site or somewhere fans can go to learn more about you and your writing?
Yes I do. Fans can go to my website, facebook fan page or follow me on twitter. Poems that I post go to all three areas.
I try to post 3-5 poems a week. I have some poems from the book posted and others that I write and upload throughout the week.
Thanks so much Kim. It has been great getting to know you. Can we finish with another poem?
Sometimes love throws you a curve.
It flows outside the lines.
Sometimes love takes broader shape,
Refuses to be confined.
It takes you up, then drops you down.
It smiles at you and then it frowns.
Love pulls you in,
Pretends to stay, and
Evaporates to your dismay.
But love can also be so sweet,
Can pick you up and be complete.
It grows with you and holds you tight
And comforts you late at night
It finds you when you least expect,
And surprises you with no regrets.
It can start as just a fling
And then turn into everything.
So hold on tight,
Enjoy the ride,
And just await your love’s surprise.