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New published poet explains how writing de-stresses

OUTLET: Valerie Powell and her book of poems

"LIFE IS one big emotion and this is my way of expressing it," says author Val Powell who has just written her first book of verse called Poetry Emotions, which she says is a reflection of her life and those of the people she knows and loves.

The special educational needs mentor has been quietly writing all her life, since primary school and often writes about events, big and small, that have affected her. The 55-year-old grandmother told The Voice:

“Everyday situations just seem to bring forth words that I make into a poem. I’ve been writing things down all my life and I simply write about every situation. If I come home and something has bothered me I might go on the computer, type something up about it and put it in a book somewhere. It could just be a conversation with a colleague I might have had that day about something amusing or serious – I just write down my reactions to what happens on a daily basis. I’ve got books and books of poetry that I’ve scribbled down.”

Val is also training to be a lay preacher at St Andrew’s Church in Handsworth, Birmingham and has now started to write spiritual poems, so she hopes that her next book will be called Spiritual Emotions. She added:

Poetry Emotions is based around every day feelings that myself and perhaps family or friends have experienced which I have then put into words.

“I find that life is just one big emotion because every day brings a different emotion whether it’s sadness, happiness, whether it’s feeling down, not wanting to go to work – all of us are on a rollercoaster of emotions. There’s love, there’s heartbreak, there’s family occasions, there’s celebrations, culture and history – a wide range of difference genres.

“I think these poems will be for anyone who has fallen in or out of love, had family ups and
downs, a spiritual awakening or anything else that life may throw at them. I think this book has something that everyone can identify with.”

Some family members have become ‘stars’ of the book, such as Val’s beloved two granddaughters, her parents, her son Luke and daughter Shervorne.

She smiled:

“Yes, my family feature quite a lot but they’re happy with it – some of them think they’re famous now! But I’ve also explored some quite poignant experiences too, which I think have helped me and members of my family.”

Her first work is, of course, dedicated to Val’s family – and also ‘FAJ’ Frank James who encouraged her to pursue her dream of seeing her work in print.

“Frank’s daughter Charlene James is now a successful playwright and actor, so I think he appreciated me striving to reach my goal and he was extremely supportive,” added Val. “He kept on encouraging me, saying you can do it.”

Val’s daughter Shervorne said:

“Mum has been writing poems for us all our lives and always puts one in a birthday card. They all mean a lot to us and we’re very proud of her.”

Val is holding a book signing of Poetry Emotions at Handsworth Library, Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, between 2pm and 4.30pm on Saturday 13 May.

To purchase her work, click here.

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