National Poetry Month in April is a special time to celebrate the importance of poets and poetry in our culture. For these three aggies, poetry and spoken word is a passion of theirs that has become a huge part of their lifestyle. Ta’Mia King, Hasson Byrd and Rin Faith all express their love for this artistry and how it has shaped them into who they are today.
For King, also known as Ta’Mia Nicole, she says that she did not choose poetry, but that poetry chose her. She is currently a senior creative writing and speech-language pathology student from Goldsboro, NC. It was not until she moved to Greensboro for college that she began to consider poetry.
“I wasn’t too involved on campus at my previous institution until my friend convinced me to go to this poetry club meeting,” King said. “It was there that I found my tribe and learned that I truly have a passion for poetry above basically anything else.”
These poets use this art form as an expression of love, sadness, anger, frustration and so much more. Poetry has been an outlet for them to express their emotions in an artistic form for the world to relate and understand.
I don’t write Happy Poems, Yet, is a book published by Byrd that really encompasses a large range and perspectives of emotions. He is an NC A&T alum from Raleigh. Although many of his poems focus on the reality of Black life and culture, he wants people to see the variety in his works.
“I want people to understand that it’s okay to be emotional,” Byrd said. “I want people to understand that the lies that this country feeds us every day [and] the injustices we deal with and be inspired to do something about them.”
King also expresses this same desire that her audience takes away from her work. She hopes that people not just hear but feel the honesty and the compassion that went into writing.
“I literally spill out my heart in every line I write,” King said. “It helps me heal and work through all kinds of situations that I face. But I also want to make someone else feel something.”
In many situations’ poetry becomes the only way that people can communicate. Faith explains that it was her escape when she was in a very low place once in life. She is a junior creative writing student from Atlanta. To her, poetry was the only way she could communicate her emotions.
“I started writing poetry when I was 12 because I fell into a deep depression and lost my ability to communicate efficiently,” Faith said. “Writing in any form whether it be poetry, short stories or articles became therapeutic [for me] because it helped me express myself.”
Her favorite works are a few poems of hers that are also a part of a bigger collection that she is working on. Her book, Brown Girl Almighty that is scheduled to release soon is just one of the collections that contain many of her shorter works.
Each of these artists advises that for anyone who may be interested in writing poetry, or just writing in general, to just believe in themselves. King expresses that as a writer, your audience can feel when you do not believe in your work.
“Yes, we write for others in terms of performance or publication but the first “audience” member you should be pleasing is yourself,” King said. “Your truth will attract the right kind of attention.”
For any aggies on campus looking to learn more about poetry and the artistry, the Aggie Live Poetry organization has had an impact on each of these poets tremendously. Rin describes the organization as a necessary tool that helped her to build her love and passion for poetry.
“[It] has provided me with the tools necessary to continue working on my passion, and always encourages me to never give up,” Rin said.
To keep up with these artists, you can find them on Instagram at @ta_mianicole (Ta’Mia King), @pr0gress.ink (Hausson Byrd) and @rinthewriter (Rin Faith).