As a first born to a stay-at-home mother, I had the luxury of being read to as a child, and even as a baby, each and every day, long before I could understand any of it. My mother read it all to me--The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, the American Girl series, and so much more.
Now, as an adult, I make my entire livelihood reading and writing. I freelance on the side for a marketing company creating content about businesses in all kinds of industries, and my main “job” is being a poet. I write and perform spoken word and performance poetry and travel the state, as well as the country, sharing it. Next to meeting my partner, it has been absolutely the most meaningful and significant development in my life, and it gives me a sense of purpose I have been unable to find anywhere else.
But none of this would be possible had I not had a love for and respect of reading instilled deeply in me, particularly at an early age. Because of the dedication of my parents to help us not just appreciate but truly love reading, and by extension writing, the entire course of my life has changed, and I have found something to do that gives me purpose when I wake up each and every morning.
To me, this is why working with East Nashville Hope Exchange was something I immediately knew I wanted to do—because we have the ability to help facilitate the birth of another generation of writers, readers, poets, songwriters, and artists that have something meaningful to say to their community and know how to say it well. I look at ENHE as a sort of midwife to that process, and it is a blessing and an honor to be a part of fulfilling that role.
The adage goes that if you want to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader, and I have always found that to be true. I’m proud to work with ENHE in this endeavor, and celebrate every child and future world-changer that discovers a love of writing through a love of reading.