Four years ago I started writing poetry regularly. I’d write a poem a day to keep my head sharp and creative following a period of mental distress. The poetry was more than therapeutic, however. The writing was a process of reimagining myself following a personal crisis that I experienced as a catalyst moment. It was a time in which everything changed and I had to rediscover who I was. The publication of my poetry collection, Outside In, is the culmination of that process.
The poems explore my childhood, my identity, loss and growth. By funnelling feelings and memories into self-contained chunks of writing, I was able to add perspective to my experiences and see a larger picture. Within this context it was possible to shed unhelpful conceptions of who I was and empower a vision of who I wanted to be. The poems in this collection provide snapshots of that journey.
Some poems deal with absurdity and take a comic turn. Finding hope and beauty in the ridiculous has always been a goal. No self-reflection would be complete without a laugh.
The title underlines the relationship between our internal and external worlds, whether that be our physical surroundings seen through a window or our emotions that are either shared or not shared with those near us. It also relates to feelings of being an outsider that are often universal. Finally, the title alludes to ideas of “coming out”, whether that be about mental health struggles, sexual identity or gender identity, and the value of living authentically.
I hope readers relate to the work, feel empowered in their own journeys toward self-actualisation and enjoy the ride.