Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

Interview: “Seamlessly Together” by Demark Manigo

“Seamlessly Together” takes the reader on a personal voyage to unconditional love. Through spiritual allusions and heartfelt diction, Demark Manigo awakens the reader to a vibrant realm of infinite possibilities and the mystical forces that entwine us all. Page by page, the reader’s sixth sense will be jolted wide awake as they connect with the poet, themselves, and God himself at a soul-level. These poetic snippets of cosmic love and compassion go beyond what one may expect out of a standard love poem. Instead, each masterfully crafted piece serves as a portal to a vibrant dimension of being.

▶️Now available on Amazon. Click here!

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Good afternoon, Demark! I’m excited to be speaking with you today. What inspired the creation of this beautiful collection of poetry?

I had been experiencing a series of life changing events that really required me to spend a lot of time alone reflecting and planning. One night I was just sitting in my car and I felt the urge to write about the things that were taking place within me. I grabbed a pen and paper and the words started coming out. After I wrote a couple poems, I felt led to share them. It was helping me sort through everything I was facing.

Poetry is quite therapeutic, and by sharing it, we help other as well. Who and/or what got you into poetry?

I would say that it was my childhood education that got me into poetry. The first time I heard a poem recited in class really ignited what was already there inside me.

After that, it was a lifelong partner. I found poetry in practically everything literature-wise. The Bible has amazing poetry in it. It helped connect me to my spirit. Shakespeare got me into my intellectual side. Edgar Allan Poe exposed my darkness and the inner emotions. William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience” were everything about what’s in my heart.

Oooh, in high school our chorus sang a choral arrangement of John Tavener’s “The Lamb.” The purity of the words just washes over me.

So many notable influences. I love it! What themes do you touch on in your book?

I touch on a few themes. The first is definitely intimacy that goes deeper than superficial interpretations of it. Then there’s forgiveness, especially after being bitter. Letting go of the attachments to triggers are touched on as well. Accountability is also touched on. Of course, love is the overarching theme of all.

That sounds absolutely wonderful. What poets influenced this creation?

Honestly, this work didn’t have a direct influence from any poet. I guess you could say the poets from my childhood: Poe, Blake, Shakespeare. I even include the poets of the Bible such as David, Solomon, Asaph, Isaiah, and the other Bible writers.

Do you have any more poetic projects on the horizon?

Yes, I do. I truly want to take this work as far as my creative mind can go first. I want it to be heard, seen, felt in different modalities like an audiobook, an album, a visual album, practically anything that the creative world can help anyone get that much closer to receiving the messages. I’m also working on another book as well.

Excellent. I wish you the best of luck. Any final thoughts?

I’m just grateful to be able to share what’s in my heart to others.

And I’m grateful you took some time out of your day to have this chat with me. Thank you! 😊🙏

Contact Info:

IG: Demarkballet

Facebook: Demark Manigo

Tumblr: Demarkmanigowrites

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Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

INTERVIEW: “Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul” by J. Autherine

Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul, is a beautiful collection of poems that provide inspiration to strong, vulnerable, badass women who love deeply, sometimes fall hard but always lead with their hearts. It is a deep and gritty, fresh and robust look at the thrill of loving unconditionally, as well as the mental and physical toll that it takes when peace and harmony are sometimes lost in the process.

Drawing on personal experiences from her own journey of the past 30 years, J Autherine delves into the vulnerable hearts of women from around the world, including from her early years in Jamaica. Poems such as Quiet Storm reveal the pain of sudden loss, while The Rebel Soul carries with it that air of doubt or uncertainty we all feel when in love.

The pain and struggle of women who love deeply and pour into others without first filling their own jars is prevalent throughout, as is the reoccurring theme of reclaiming your heart in order to live and love harmoniously.

Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul has the ability to pick you up in moments when you feel broken or not good enough to be loved and provide the strength in the love you always need as we search for the one who is worthy of our love.

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Hello there! I’m excited to be speaking with you. First off, what inspired you to write your book?

Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul came from a realization that we all share the same joys and struggles in life. We often don’t share them because we feel alone or embarrassed. If we share our joys, vulnerabilities and pain, we can grow together, celebrate together and heal together. I didn’t alway write my thoughts, however, I realized that almost every time that I would feel deeply about an issue, the words would flow and I stopped ignoring them as random, overly emotional thoughts and started to write them. When I suffered heartbreak or disappointment, I would write several poems each week. I soon discovered that I was not limited to writing about my own experiences. I went to see the play, the Waitress, and was so moved by the story that I wrote the poem, Riding High, which teaches us not to stand in judgment of another’s journey because we don’t know their pain or their struggles. After writing about 15 poems, I realized that my poetry writing wasn’t a fluke. I entertained the possibility that my emphatic heart and introvert brain could collaborate to write poetry that could resonate with others.

That’s wonderful! How did your passion for poetry come about?

The beauty of poetry is its ability to convey an important message in short form. As a child in Jamaica, I spent a lot of time memorizing verses both in church and in school (songs, poems, written word). After moving to the United States, I started reading everything that I could find by great authors, such as Dr. Maya Angelou. Her poems, “Phenomenal Woman” and “Still, I Rise” gave me the courage to walk confidently in the world. I discovered that I was most excited to write when a “heart” issue was involved – love, struggle, passion, heartache, unrequited love. I lead with my heart in almost every area of my life so the inspiration came often and random poems turned into a book.

Books by Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison also sparked my love for issues that are close to the heart of women. As women, we spend our lives caring for others and putting the needs of others first. This often comes at a cost to our emotional and physical health and well-being and Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul doesn’t shy away from the tough issues. Many of the poems in the chapter, Wild Heart, deal with self-sacrificing behaviors that eat away at our self-esteem. The poems in the chapter, Peaceful Soul, are empowering and help us find our way back to being the “Phenomenal Woman” that sister, Maya envisioned for all women.

What would you say are the top three messages in your book?

Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is about love, freedom, peace, vulnerability and authenticity. It is the heart and soul working together to explore every part of our humanity in order to create a life where we are living and loving harmoniously. The heart was made to love and should have the freedom to love authentically without unrealistic boundaries. Often, we are afraid or ashamed to speak about the heartbreaks and disappointments along the journey to finding love, even with our best friends. The poems speaks to the heart of women on a broad range of subjects – dating post divorce, dealing with rejection, struggling to hold on to our self-esteem when we have been hurt, being caught in the emotional grip of an unhealthy relationship. It empowers by holding a mirror to our common struggles. Another important theme is the ability to live and love harmoniously. Women give so much of themselves to others that their spiritual, mental and physical jars are often empty. Good Enough to Love addresses the temptation to change ourselves in order to find love. The Princess Takes the High Road encourages women to write their own happy endings. Strong Sisters Unite speaks to embracing our vulnerability and humanity and not pretend to be strong when love, counseling, and self-care is what is needed.

Excellent! How about some of your writing influences.

Maya Angelou moves mountains within my soul. When I read her work, I feel like I am journeying with her and feel both the pain and the inspiration. Still I Rise and Phenomenal Woman made me walk with confidence; a light was ignited in me, as well as many young women and that light continues to guide our paths. She walked in her truth and combined poetry with activism, using the power of words to shed light on the social and political issues that our society faced.

Can you tell me about your writing process a little bit?

Free flowing through words is the best way to describe how I write. My mind rarely thinks in a linear manner so I dump all of my thoughts on paper and organize them when my mind is clear. Clarity usually comes at 5:30am daily. My body clock goes off at 5am, thankfully before anyone else in the house is up, and I meditate for about 15 minutes, then sit at my desk and write for at least 30 minutes getting the family out the door. If I am writing non-fiction, it is a disciplined process where I write daily, even if it is one line. The best writing advice that I have received is short – just write!

Poetry writing works best when I am inspired. It is usually driven by emotion – empathy, love, anger, feeling vulnerable, or experiencing great joy. Because of the unpredictability of the process, I usually keep pen and paper by my bed so that I can write a thought that comes at 1am or a recorder in my car for when a great idea comes when I am driving. That is how a poem starts; crafting it to perfection requires carving out time at my desk, in a bookstore, in the corner of my favorite restaurant or on the beach to just focus on writing.

One more question: How do you stay connected to the poetry community?

This is a wonderful time to be a poet. Poetry books are on the bestseller lists again and the audience has seen exponential growth with the ability to post poetry on social media, in particular Instagram. Being able to follow and support other poets and have poetry lovers communicate their thoughts and share their stories has created a vibrant poetry community that I am proud to be a part of. I am alway happy to chat with readers @JAutherine, as well as share advice and collaborate with fellow poets. I am fortunate that Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is reaching a wide audience and is resonating with readers.

Thank you so much for having this interview with me! It’s been a pleasure. 🙂


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Interview with poets Josh Hatcher and Michaelah Hatcher

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Poetry cuts through America like deep rivers, carrying our joys, our sorrows, our stories from mountains to seas. Josh Hatcher writes his own American rivers, celebrating the love of family, mourning deep loss, and calling out a nation divided and broken.

*Click here to purchase on Amazon.


toturnthepenMichaelah Hatcher’s debut book is a journey to adulthood, and much of the story is autobiographical. Michaelah writes poetry to learn; she longs to understand the little things in life, the world around her, and most of all, herself. Hatcher deals with the difficult topics of first love, anxiety and depression, spirituality, and the precarious nature of America’s current culture through a very personal lens.

To Turn the Pen comes from the Latin proverb “Stilum vertere.” The phrase is in reference to the styluses of the Greco-Roman era, which had a scraper on one end used to erase letters from clay tablets. The saying means “to correct and begin again,” which is something Hatcher has had to remind herself continually over her journey.

*Click here to purchase on Amazon.


Today, I’m here with Josh Hatcher and his daughter Michaelah to have a little chat about their poetry books. What made you two decide to write these books?

Together, we wanted to encourage each other to write and create.

I love that. So, Josh, when did you first get into writing?

I’ve been writing since I was young, about the same age that Michaelah started writing.

I was going to ask you when Michaelah started writing… How wonderful that she began writing poems around the same time that you did. Now, I’d like to know what messages you’re both trying to convey in these books.

Josh: That despite the growing ideological divide – we are all the same- and this country will only be great again, if we make ourselves great again.

Michaelah: A journey from innocence, through cynicism, toward hope.

Those premises both sound very beautiful. It sounds like writing is very much a joined effort for you two.

Yes. We challenged each other to write a poem a day for a month. It really challenged us and got our creativity flowing – so we kept going!

That’s fantastic! Is there anything else either of you would like to add?

Books are available on Amazon! (The links are included above.)

Thank you! I find it so heartwarming that you two encourage each other to write as much as you do. And the fact that you’re a father-daughter poet duo warms my heart even further. It was a pleasure speaking with you! 🙂


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*Josh’s Facebook:www.facebook.com/joshhatcherband

*Michaelah’s Facebook:www.facebook.com/outofyourshellpoetry

Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

📖 INTERVIEW with Ashley Perkins about her new poetry book “Naked Soul.” 📖

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^Click to purchase!

“Naked Soul” takes the reader on an uplifting spiritual journey through life’s countless lows and highs. These literary tidbits of self-discovery in poetry form reveal a soul-stirring narrative that will jolt inspiration within many hearts. Through Ashley Perkins’ articulate use of alliterative lines, striking stanzas, flowing rhymes, and unique metaphors, this ultimate awakening gains momentum poem by poem. Both intuitive and equally as expressive, poet Ashley Perkins invites you to lose the notion of what doesn’t make your heart sing, so you can discover the driving force of reality: authenticity, passion, and unconditional love for others and the self. By the end of this heart-felt collection of exquisitely-crafted poems, you will be transformed in ways you may have not initially expected. Whether you have struggled with low self-esteem, depression, suicidal thoughts, or simply not feeling good enough, “Naked Soul” will serve as the golden light at the end of that winding dark tunnel. Find out what she learned through her faith in God and her own personal experiences and let these poems resonate with you.


Hello Ashley! I’m excited to be talking with you about your new book today. “Naked Soul” is definitely a beautiful poetry book. I’m sure a lot of inspiration went into its making. What inspired this poetic creation the most?

Finding myself in the deep pits of depression and finding healing in expressing myself through writing. I also found healing through reflecting back on my past and leaning on my faith in God to get me through. I grew passionate to encourage others to know that there is hope and that life gets better.

That is extremely empowering. Poetry really is a wonderful healer. As a fellow word weaver, how did your creative journey begin and how did it flourish?

I started off with the ambitious goal to simply write a book full of poems not really knowing what I was going to write about. My 4-6 poems grew more and more each month. The journey started off really passionate. It got tough along the ways, but I kept pressing on because of the people I was writing for. I knew that they desperately needed to hear what God inspired me to say, so I could not give up.

Amongst the many themes featured in this collection, what would you say are the most prominent ones?

Transparency, low self esteem/ depression/ suicide/ lack of purpose, and hope in Christ.

You talked about what inspired “Naked Soul,” but what inspires your soul?

Nature… walks in the park, oxymorons, prayer, music, and relaxation.

Ha! I love that you included oxymorons in that list. Okay, so we chatted about inspiration, themes, poetic journeys… There’s a ton more we could cover, but I’m especially curious about your creative process…

My creative process is usually is spontaneous. I get inspired by music, nature, and all kinds of things. I am most creative when I am not trying to be. Once I get an idea in my mind, I write down everything that I am inspired to say. I don’t worry about any grammar or spelling errors at that moment. I just let the words flow out of me. I speak with honesty and try to let my personality show.

That sounds perfect! It really is all about harnessing that natural creative flow. Forcing it hardly ever works. So, is there anything else you’d like to add before we part ways?

If this book touches one soul and inspires them, my writing was not in vain.

Oh, I’m know it has and will continue to inspire MANY. Thank you so much for having this interview with me. It was such a joy talking to you! 😀


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Ashley Perkins is a passionate author, songwriter, playwright, and advocate of positive change who calls Amarillo, Texas home.

To date, she has written five plays and one short skit for church. Also, she enjoys writing songs. Ashley is motivated to uplift Jesus Christ and inspire others in her creative works. In addition, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in General Business with a Concentration in Entrepreneurship.

When she isn’t crafting plays, lyrics, or poems, Ashley enjoys sewing and journaling. She is also an avid bookworm. She resides in Amarillo, Texas with her husband, Tradon, and their pitbull , Faith.

Ashley’s Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/ashleyperkins


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Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

📖Interview with Bahar Almasi on her forthcoming poetry book📖

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What has your creative journey been like?

I started in grade 3 writing what I considered as ‘poetry’, because I was obsessed with rhymes and meters. Since then, I have not ever stopped writing, reading, and educating myself about this form of art. So gradually, what originally started as a hobby turned into more of a calling.

I have published two books of poetry in the Persian language—both of which have been somewhat successful considering the times we live in (no one seems to read poetry anymore.).

My first collection, “Lady Gemini” was about me claiming authority over my poems after years of writing. This book reflects the evolution of my poetic style from 2010 to 2015. “Letters of Lead” on the other hand, was an artistic experiment with collaborative poetry and collaging famous poems with my own work, which I found highly educational and unequivocally gratifying.

The next step for me is to publish a selection of my poems in English.

What was your inspiration for In Other Words?

The reason I have decided to write and/or translate my Persian poetry into English is that although the majority of my imagery and motifs stem from the East, the subject matter of my poems is mostly inspired by life in the West. So, for my third collection, I intend to try the English language as a medium.

Only time will tell which one of the two languages is the more suitable medium.

What primary themes are covered in this collection?

I am somewhat of an activist. So, not surprisingly, most of my poems have an underlying social commentary. The specific subjects, however, depend on what is going on in the world. I have written about my take on feminism, war, education, child abuse, and even western and eastern cultural flaws.

Who/what are a few of your poetic muses?

I get inspired by underlying cultural myths and stories that shape people’s experience of the world. And I get inspired by sounds. To me, the way a poem sounds really impacts the reader’s take on the imagery.

Can you describe what your creating process is normally like?

I actually write my poems in one shot and edit them later, and then one last time just before publishing. But if I were to say where those lines in my poems come from, it’s a long process. I read and listen to the radio constantly. What this does, is that it not only gets me to think about things, but also creates a pool of interesting words simmering to be used. When the right time comes—usually when I’m alone or have had some privacy to hear the voices in my head—the words align themselves into a musical statement of my viewpoint about an issue. And that to me is like magic every time. This is why I love poetry so much!

How wonderful! Thank you very much for having this interview with me, Bahar! To anyone who is reading this: Bahar’s poetry book will be released this spring.


PicsArt_1462985524743_1Born in 1985, Bahar Almasi is an Iranian-Canadian poet, writer, and cultural activist. She made her début as a poet by publishing in Iranian youth magazines at the age of thirteen. An electrical engineer and a graduate of Knowledge, Media, Design by education, Bahar has continued to produce a wide array of works, ranging from poetry to short stories, plays, articles, translations, journalistic reports, and radio shows, published through Iranian and international outlets. She has also led and participated in various cultural events and campaigns in Toronto. Bahar Almasi has two books of poetry, Lady Gemini (2015, Canada), and Letters of Lead (2016, Iran).

Facebook: Bahar Almasi