Susie Clevenger is back! Susie is back for her third Poetry Month post, and this time she gets a little more personal.
One of the things I often like hearing about is a poet’s origin story. How did they first come to poetry? What made them first try writing? What keeps them writing? Many stories share similar elements, especially for those starting out in our teenage years, but the details make each story unique.
Today, Susie continues on writing 30 poems in 30 days, all the while reflecting on what got her here and what keeps her going. Here’s her story.
Twenty days into National Poetry Month’s 30 days of 30 poems and I am feeling a bit weary. Yet, it is a good weary. There are times I’ve had to peel words off my brain. Other times words have come without any effort. The curse of a poet I suppose.
Why am I a poet and when did the drive to write poetry begin? I began writing poetry when I was fifteen years old. My freshman English teacher, Mrs. Kilgore, introduced me to the works of Edgar Allan Poe. There was a darkness in his work that spoke to the darkness in me. His nightmare words began to unseal my own. I was harboring the secret of childhood sexual abuse. The clamped jaws of fear kept me from telling anyone. My own fledgling raven wings found freedom through words.
I spent most of my high school years writing poetry. Much of it was silly, young girl topics, love, self-confidence issues. It was the 60’s so social/political topics spilled into my work also. Peace just wasn’t a word or a hand sign for me. I needed it myself. The sexual abuse had ended. The war to overcome the trauma was raging.
There is so much of my story I could share. That will have to come at a later time. I just wanted to give a glimpse into my poetic roots. The depth, the importance it has in my life. Poetry is many things, an art form, social commentary, rhythm, rhyme, a vehicle for change, therapy. I have this hunger for expression. I am a poet of few words. In the scrabble that is my mind I connect the dots of thoughts quickly. Putting it on my blog or in a book makes my ego vulnerable, but that’s fine. I’ve got tough skin.
To use my own words, “I’m hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath…I’m living in a poem.”
Don’t forget about Clevenger’s latest collection, Insomnia’s Ink!
You can also find more of her poetry in her first collection Dirt Road Dreams on
Here’s how to easily access Edgar Allan Poe’s poetical works, as well.
About the Author:
Susie Clevenger is author of the poetry collections, Dirt Road Dreams and Insomnia’s Ink. Her poetry has been featured in the online publications, The Creative Nexus, Poetry & Prose Magazine, Yellow Chair Review, The Global Twitter Community Poetry Project, and Journey of the Heart. Susie resides in Houston, Texas with her husband, Charlie.
Find out more: