National Poetry Month Celebration 2015
Bio: Stephanie Battle is an African American poet, educator, and recent graduate of Bowie State University. Her poems “Breasts” and “Remission” have been published in the Bowie State University English Journal, The Torch. These poems are from her short collection of work on the subject of breast cancer, Wildfires.
Currently, Stephanie is working on a project that will allow elementary and middle school aged children in Maryland to be introduced to the art of poetry and performance at a local performing arts aftercare program. She is also working toward her first full-length publication. When she is not working with children, she spends most of her time at poetry workshops, reading, or performing at a local open-mic poetry night.
Ultimately, Stephanie is on a journey to use her writing as a tool to navigate through life and bring about positive change in her community.
1. Where do you draw your inspiration from to write poetry?
I draw inspiration to write poetry from my own life experiences and those of the folks I come in contact with regularly. Also, controversial topics and current events in the African-American community spark my interest.
2. What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry? Think of poetry as experience. Often times the “threatening” thing about poetry is how intellectually complex a poem is, or how hard it may be to understand the words. A wise professor taught me, someone who found comprehending others’ poetry difficult, to think of poetry as a human experience that exists outside of words, first. If you can’t experience a poem first, the words can be difficult to understand. So yes, when it comes to poetry, intellectual understanding should be secondary to experience.
3. What is an interesting fact about you? My birthmark is a planet in my left pupil. They call it a coronary cataract. No worries though, it’s asymptomatic!
4. Where are you from/Where do you live? Washington DC, Metropolitan area
5. Who is your favorite poet? This is always a difficult question..I have a great deal of love and respect for my poetic mothers: Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucile Clifton, Audre Lorde (list goes on and on) But if you are brave enough to take this poetic journey, I LOVE YOU!
i want to be lines
Nucleus of touch
To know congas
The smack of
To be lit
And feel heat
To be pressed
And press back
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