Salaam Green says poetry saved her life.
“After a stressful divorce and an emotionally abusive marriage where I found myself at my highest weight of 337 pounds, alone, without a home, and devastated by grief, I needed something to help me recover,” she says.
That something was writing.
“I found a writing class — Women Writing for a Change,” Salaam says. “This is where I found healing through the power of words and community. Writing to release brought me freedom to declare I am a Poet and that writing is a tool of recovery. I have been with the same class and group of phenomenal writers for over six years.”
Earlier this year Salaam became a member of See Jane Write, too, and she has started a movement of her own through the Literary Healing Arts Foundation, a business idea she has brought to fruition in part through the guidance of Create Birmingham’s CO.STARTERS program.
Salaam also won the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama’s poetry contest and was named Conference Poet Laureate for the group’s annual innovation conference.
We are proud to announce that Salaam Green is the See Jane Write member of the month.
Why and how do you think writing can help a person heal?
I believe writing is the brain and body’s way of releasing emotions. Writing empowers those suffering from anything to turn their pain into purpose and to use their voice to address problems.
What is the mission of the Literary Healing Arts Foundation?
The Literary Healing Arts Foundation and Services promotes healing and growth through expressive arts. Participants are encouraged to explore the healing power of words through workshops, community gatherings, and one-on-one creativity coaching using healing prompts as a guide for support in using their authentic voice. LHAF services support restoration, renewal, and recovery platforms for all in need of any type of healing.
My mission is for the healing power of words to reach the world and cross the globe for voices that go unheard.
Tell us a bit about your CO.STARTERS experience and how it propelled your idea. What are three of the most valuable things you learned?
It was somewhat of a beautiful fluke that I found CO.STARTERS. I never thought about being a business owner. Out of my own recovery CO.STARTERS propelled my confidence to explore and see myself as a successful entrepreneur. The connections and genuine engagement from leaders and other entrepreneurs is something I won’t ever forget. I made lifelong partnerships, formed unique collaborations, and began the journey towards fulfilling a vision bigger than myself.
The 3 most valuable things I learned are: your story is your business; your story is your brand; your story is your bottom-line.
Congratulations on winning the EDPA poetry contest and being named Conference Poet Laureate. Tell us about the poem you submitted for that contest and what it was like reading your poem at the conference.
Thank you. The poem titled “Alabama: Where the World Comes to Create” is a rural girl’s view of innovation throughout the state of Alabama and the creative journey that sets Alabama apart from its past until today.
Reading the poem in front of over 700 of the state’s top business owners and entrepreneurs and not to mention Andrew Yang, founder of Venture America, was both frightening and exhilarating. However, I felt at home on that stage and I love public speaking and sharing my art. I also feel that the crowd agreed and left inspired, which is always my hope. To inspire or to get others to think honestly or to be moved in a good or uncomfortable way beyond their comfort zones is the reason I write and perform poetry.
What do you like most about being a member of See Jane Write?
I love See Jane Write! The unique voices of women who all evoke their right to write is not only empowering, it’s instrumental in healing. I appreciate the community that is well established and the thought put into making everyone feel a part. I’ve invested in other programs that were great but none offered me the opportunities of both self growth and skills for development of my craft. Thank you, Javacia, for the visionary work you put in daily. All the women in this group are truly gifted.
Submit your nominations for See Jane Write member of the month to firstname.lastname@example.org.