Thursday, June 18, 2020

Release Day Blitz Hurricane Vignette by Avery Kilpatrick #poetry

Hello, y’all! 

My name is Avery Kilpatrick and I’m from a small town in Mississippi with a passion for writing and reading. Since my first published book is a poetry collection, I thought I might share one of my unpublished works that didn’t make the cut for Hurricane Vignette. 

Before I introduce my poem, I just want to share how I write my poetry. 

For starters, most of my poems are inspired by current events or emotions that I’m feeling and I need to get them out somehow. I have always used writing (fiction or poetry) as a means to express myself, to organize my thoughts, or to release stress. With motifs like these, I have plenty to write from, and I find writing poetry easier than short stories or flash fiction. 

I suffer from severe depression, anxiety, and nightmares, but poetry gives me an outlet to express those doubts, those fears, and those dark thoughts. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I decided that writing poetry with a theme directed toward mental health awareness was important. Not only did poetry give me a therapeutic outlet for my thoughts, but it also gives me a platform to share my story in a creative way. I mention this a lot in the Author Note inside Hurricane Vignette.

“But Still I Smile” is one of those poems where I had been in an extremely dark place. I haven’t even shared this poem with my mother, who has read almost all my work. I wrote this one night during my senior spring semester in college, the lights of my dorm room were off and I only had the soft yellow light of my lamp to see. The TV was on Hulu, a forgotten show playing in the background, and I stared at the computer screen blankly. I had several lesson plans and unit plans due the next day, I had to wake up at 5 AM to get ready for school where I was student teaching, and I had no energy to write or to focus. The clock on my phone told me it was three in the morning, so I had two hours to get some sleep before I woke up for the day. 

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering from depression and I wouldn’t be diagnosed until I almost committed suicide several weeks later. This poem is heavy with fatigue and dark thoughts, and I won’t apologize for sharing my innermost thoughts with anyone, but I will warn you that it might (or might not) trigger some people who read it.  

“But Still I Smile”

A hurricane rumbles and tears away at my soul, 
crashing thunder makes my bones quiver, 
and lightning strikes the pervading darkness in my mind.
But still I smile. 

A star bursts into a supernova in my heart,
dazzling sparks and light before a black hole is born,
swirls of amethyst and onyx mix and swallow everything pure.
But still I smile. 

An eye of the storm dwells in my mind,
the waves are calm and the sun streams through the clouds,
but the peace and the tranquility slip from my fingers.
But still I smile. 

But still I smile even as the storm rages around me.
But still I smile even as the darkness envelopes me.
But still I smile even as my mind tortures me.
But still I smile even as the world continues on.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this poem in the comments section below! Do you think “But Still I Smile” should have made the cut or not? 

Hurricane Vignette
Avery Kilpatrick

Genre: Poetry, Inspirational, Women Poets
Publisher: Avery Kilpatrick
Date of Publication: June 18, 2020
Number of pages: 64 pages
Word Count: 4,354

Cover Artist: Anna Claire Garrard

Book Description:

From debut poet and author Avery Kilpatrick, Hurricane Vignette tells the story of a difficult time in her life—a time of struggle, depression, suicide, recovery, and triumph. This poetry collection is a personal diary of Kilpatrick’s most inner thoughts and her journey of healing.

These poems are filled with raw emotion and contain sensitive subjects such as suicide, depression, and anxiety. However, like most stories, there is a happy ending—a moment of clarity that evokes peace and victory over the chaos of life.

An Artist’s Cage

     and painters—bringers
       of life and molds.
    Fingers feather over
   their lines and angles,
providing guiding hands
for Da Vinci or Shakespeare,
Aetion or Nikosthenes—
the Muses helped bring their
inspirations to life. A cage of color
and stone inescapable—unbreakable—
placed in a gallery for all to see.
A pillar that others should strive to achieve the
        perfection of the woman:
traditional chocolate hair with
        a lean, willowed figure,
cherry lips, painted face, shining eyes, and smiles.
The pinnacle of a natural standard of beauty—
        pretty, nice, braindead, submissive,
who relies on the Father,
       their Creator—or the Husband.
All independence erased by
       white paint or another block of clay. 
And the Muses, beautiful
       women who guided men,
 developed the cage, building a masterful
piece of iron, entrapping their fellow sisters.

About the Author:

Avery Kilpatrick was born in Flowood, Mississippi, in April 1996. Raised in a small town in the Mississippi Delta, she has a fondness for nature and the cotton fields that create Southern snow pastures in the fall. After writing her first novel when she was thirteen, Avery decided to pursue her dream as an author at a young age.

An alumnus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, Avery graduated with a Bachelor’s in English. She also worked on the student-run newspaper, The Delta Statement, during her four-year career at Delta State as copy-editor and Editor-in-Chief.

Avery currently lives in a ranch-style home in her hometown in Greenwood, Mississippi. The mother of three fur babies, Cinnamon the spoiled cat, Ginger the rambunctious old lady, and Remington a.k.a. Remi the service dog, Avery has enough fur from shedding animals to make a fourth pet. When Avery isn’t busy writing her next novel, she goes on walks with her mother and dogs, watches Outlander or Criminal Minds on Netflix, or can be found curled up on the couch with Cinnamon reading a good book.

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1 comment:

Avery Kilpatrick said...

It's an honor to be hosted on this blog! Thank you so much for posting, and I'm so excited about this poetry collection!