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.
This will be quite a busy month for poet, author, editor and motivational speaker Joi Miner. She has a new book she’s promoting, a business that she’s striving to take to the next level and a spoken word event that she’s planning to host in Birmingham.
Joi’s book A Good Girl with Bad Habits 2 is now available on Amazon.
Joi is the co-founder of Poetic Advisory, LLC, through which she hosts creative events and workshops and offers editing services to writers.
On June 25 at the Desert Island Supply Co., Joi will host the Red and Black Affair, a spoken word event designed to bring together the city’s creatives and introduce them to Poetic Advisory. (You can get details and RSVP here.)
Looking at all Joi is up to these days it’s hard to believe that a few months ago she had been hospitalized and told by a doctor that she wouldn’t survive the night.
Because of her hard work, tenacity, and perseverance, Joi Miner is the See Jane Write Member of the Month for June.
Jeniese Hosey of the fashion blog The Jenesaisquoi is having a moment — her moment, her time to shine.
The past several months have been quite eventful for her. Last fall she was featured on the cover of Redbook magazine as one of the winners of the publication’s Real Women Style Awards. She’s been featured on Essence.com and in People’s StyleWatch. She landed a brand campaign with Catherines, which included a fun, fashion-filled trip to New Orleans. And she was even recently featured on a billboard for Macy’s in Times Square in New York City!
Jeniese is indeed a perfect example of what being a boss lady blogger is all about and that’s why she’s the See Jane Write member of the month for May.
There was a time when Lauree Ashcom felt she had to hide her love for poetry.
“I always wrote and read poetry secretly,” she says. “When I was in school, teachers seemed to teach that there were only certain types of poetry, that it mainly rhymed, that the only great poets were dead.”
And so Lauree would perhaps sometimes send a poem to a family member or friend, but mostly she kept what she describes as her “real heart words” in journals and on note cards tucked under her bed or in hidden in her closet.
“About ten years ago I began to feel more free and more rebellious,” she says. “Maybe it had something to do with suddenly having an empty nest. I created an alter ego under a pen name and began writing and posting in poetry groups on Facebook and other sites. Not all of these were sites that a proper southern woman should be visiting, but even that helped me break the bonds of the rules that made me live in fear.”
Lauree started entering and becoming a finalist in writing contests. This helped her to eventually land a book deal. “I would have been happy to just have a chapbook printed, but I got a contract for a full length book,” she says.
I’m excited to announce that Lauree Ashcom is the Member of the Month for April, which is also National Poetry Month.
I recently had a chat with Lauree about her writing process and journey.
The See Jane Write Member of the Month for March is Randi Pink.2016 is sure to be a big year for Randi. On March 12 she will take the stage at this year’s TEDxBirmingham to give a talk on how collective misconceptions can transform the world into a place of fear and prejudice. Then, in September, Randi’s debut young adult novel Into White will hit bookshelves.
Into White tells the story of 16-year-old Latoya Williams. Toya lives in Montgomery, Alabama, attends a mostly white high school and has trouble fitting in. After a run-in with a bully, she wonders if her life would be different if she were different. She prays to a higher power to make her “anything but black” and the prayer is answered.
“Diving into the mind of a complicated sixteen-year-old girl was a challenge, but it was such a joy,” Randi says. “Toya is a multidimensional young lady – she’ll make you laugh and then you’ll turn the page and find yourself in tears. She’ll piss you off, and make you wonder why you cried for her in the first place. That’s my Toya, and I’ve selfishly held onto her for too long. I’m proud and excited to introduce her to the world.”
I had a chat with Randi recently about her upcoming book and TEDxBirmingham talk, about how to get a book deal, and about the writing life.