When I first auditioned for The Chicago High School for the Arts, I auditioned for both theater and creative writing. I got into both conservatories but theater was my first choice so I spent my first two years of high school playing theater games and performing monologues by playwrights like August Wilson. The environment of my theater ensemble was tense and stressful for me. I didn’t feel comfortable performing in front of an audience. So I did what I do anytime I feel stressed, I wrote. I wrote down all the things in my head that I never let out and it felt amazing. It was just a diary entry type of writing but it was the start to something awesome.
As a teenager, this is the time for all our emotions to spiral and go out of hand. When I started feeling more intense emotions like love, grief, regret, and inspiration I began using different formats, rhyming, literary devices, and more. I took a huge interest in poetry. The fact that someone can turn all the powerful and passionate emotions that are slung onto your heart into beautiful words on a page is incredible. My favorite poets, Rupi Kaur, Amanda Lovelace, and Courtney Peppernell, write about such powerful feelings with elegant simplicity and short and sweet line formats. The literary devices like metaphors and personification combined with beautiful imagery really set a special connection between the poet and reader.
Rupi Kaurs’ #1 New York Times bestseller, Milk and Honey, consists of many personal and beautifully written poems and I would love to see similar submissions for our magazine, Levitate. For example : “What is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives.” I love the deep message about how strong a person can be no matter how many obstacles are thrown at them. Kaur doesn’t just make this statement though, she uses different verb choices like “shatters” instead, knowing hearts can’t literally shatter, but the pain certainly feel like it can. I don’t need a whole memoir of how humans can prevail through difficult times, but short and sweet poems that resonate with me using beautiful words that flow right. Poems should leave an impact and when writing does that, it’s hard to forget it. This is what I look forward to reading from our submissions.
Jocelyn Vertiz, Poetry Editor