Allison is our featured poet today

Allison is our featured poet today and we’re excited about having the opportunity to share her interview. She’s an amazing poet with an amazing story.

Where did you grow up and how was your childhood? 

I was born in Jamaica, West Indies, but I have been living in New York since before the age of one. I am now 28. I have never lived anywhere else; I grew up between Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island -where I currently reside.  During my childhood I lived with both of my parents and grandparents. During one point, both sets of Jamaican grandparents, which was interesting to say the least. A lot of my family came to America at the same time, so we spent a lot of time together (not so much these days). I saw and heard a lot of verbal and physical abuse within my family, primarily where it hit me the hardest, between my parents. I endured physical abuse from my dad, but not as much as my mother. I have been in abusive relationships, which is something I told myself would never happen to me. I have not and still don’t have a close relationship with my father, but I have talked with him about the past and really let him know how I was affected. I am very close with my mother, but we also have a sort of co-dependent relationship, which also has longstanding effects. 

What inspires you? 

As a mother, I try my best to provide my daughter with positive examples of love and things I really feel both my parents didn’t give me. I try to find a balance, which sometimes is difficult. It’s funny because my daughter really gets me, and though we may drive each other nuts, we love each other. I try to talk to her in a way that lets her know I’m human, and make mistakes. I find it important to explain my feelings to her, so she doesn’t feel like the way I am is her fault. She is my life’s work and my inspiration. I want to be better everyday for her, and myself of course.

What do you write about? When writing, what do you find yourself writing about the most and why? 

I wrote quite a bit as an adolescent and teen, but stopped when things became too difficult me. I just couldn’t bear seeing my feelings on paper anymore. I recently began writing again just a year ago, and now I write everyday. It has been a wonderful way for me to deal with my feelings. I have always been introspective, but now I use writing as a mirror as well. My main inspiration for my poetry comes from my personal experiences. I would say that 99 percent of my writing is based on things that I have been through, with a twist of fantasy. I find myself writing about love and pain most of the time. Otherwise I also enjoy motivational writing. I believe that my pain motivates me, but also just the fact that I know I can get over it, is something I write about. I am very driven by our psychological processes, and I incorporate that into my writing. I like to play devils advocate in my life, which translates to my writing. I have a very unique outlook on life, and I enjoy sharing that with others, and learning about theirs.

Were you the only child growing up? & what do you plan to do with your writing in?

Yes, I was the only child growing up. I now have an 8 year old sister from my mom. She is the same age as my daughter. Its quite funny, they’re like sisters, and I basically have two daughters!

I am currently working on a book of poetry to be published in May of 2016 by 451 Press, an imprint of Underwater Mountains Publishing. I ultimately plan to write at the professional level, and hopefully teach English or Creative writing at some point in the future. Most of all I want to continue forming bonds with people from all over the world through words and writing. I have made invaluable connections with people through my writing and theirs. It is nice to have people who can relate to you.

I recently had my first poem published in Honeysuckle Magazine last week. It speaks to sexual abuse and sexuality, and was such a personal and vivid piece for me to share. It is the first of many pieces that will be difficult for me to share, but hopefully I can help someone through their own difficulties. Check it out. Link below.

To check out Allison’s work visit her on Instagram @ TheKotalane.