Dear Reader,

 

If you ask me why I write, I would tell you it’s because writing has been my lifesaver and voice since I was a child, and it was my first friend. By the time I started kindergarten, I was already reading and writing stories thanks to a birthday that came after the school registration date, causing me to wait an extra year to start. My great-grandmother raised me, and she was also the person who taught me to read and write before I was five years old. An only child and miles away from the few cousins I have, I entertained myself by writing the life stories of imaginary people, which I came to know was called “fiction” instead of what everyone called “making up stories.” Eventually, writing stories became a refuge to escape the unkind hand life dealt me as a child. Cliché, but true.

 

In 2007 my great-grandmother died, and it was then I screamed myself into my first, full poetry book, lyrics of an awakening. More of my soul unfolded and released in my second poetry book, personal. In my last poetry book, I began to feel steady in my heart and made peace with all that I sought shelter from in my childhood when I wrote now that I’m here; reflections from the mud to the sun. An opening lotus flower was what I felt like at that point in my life when I designed the cover. If you know anything about the lotus flower, you know that it requires mud to bloom at night into the beautiful flower we know it to be. That was my life, in the lyrics of poetry. 

 

Remember those stories I “made up” as a small child; they never left me, only willing to take a backseat to the healing that poetry provided for me. Then, when the time was right, I turned telling my truths in the direction of giving voice to the same dismantled healing needed for other women of color. Through my journey, I am learning that to heal in the present, we must tend to the past, where the wounds began. In the stories of my ancestors, I continue to find my story. And in that story, my every healing and understanding is their healing and understanding. Though the stories I write are works of fiction, they are true. A contradiction? Not really. You see, when I am inspired to write a story, it is usually rooted in a truth unveiled for a woman I know or heard about. And then there are times when the story just comes to me, and I am charged with bringing it to light because it’s healing awaiting some reader who happens to find my book. This was the birth of my life as a novelist at the publication of my novel, The Secrets of Mercy.

 

So. I like nice pens. The ones that are bold and you want to borrow, and the ink is a smooth black that almost shines when the words are first written. And I like journals. And fried wings. And window seats on airplanes. I like walking on the beach at sunset, but I’m not against taking a stroll for a beautiful sunrise, too, though I prefer to sleep in. I teach, I coach women of color writers, and I make jewelry. I’ve shared the stage with some really amazing women, and some of them are big time famous. Why didn’t I say all of that at the beginning of this love letter? Because these are all pieces of me. The whole of a circle around who I am, what I do, why I do it, and what brings me joy. No one part is more important than the other. It is all my HERStory.

 

In words and Love,

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Books By Brook B.

Books by Brook