Meet Jessica, our passionate ambassador whose heart finds solace in the world of poetry. Jessica's journey through life has been intertwined with the beauty of the written word, and it's a journey worth exploring. In this months blog she shares what she loves about writing poetry, who and what has inspired her and a few of her very own poems. Scroll to the end to watch Jessica reciting one of her verses.

When did I start writing poetry?

Poetry has been a passionate hobby for years. I’ve been doing this in the background since I was around 10.   And in the past 5 years, it has really become a staple in my life. It became more than just a hobby; it became my sanctuary, a place where I found solace. I currently work as a sales advisor for a plus size clothing brand but my joy is in writing poetry.

A poetry book I've read that has stood out to me is 'It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine: It's not' by Taz Alam. This one really drove me to continue writing. She was another person of colour who wrote about their experiences, detailed in a way that is true to her and resonated with me.

I thrive on my poetry, it keeps me happy and looking forward to the different aspects and new experiences of life. The first poem I wrote, I can’t remember, but it was written to express myself. 

What themes do I cover in my poetry?

Emotional well being, where I express struggling with keeping happy and an upbeat presence. Poems about mental health, and the way it progresses throughout your life. I’ve covered grief in honour of my grandmother, poetry has, across the years helped me to navigate life. 

I hope my words can provide sanctuary for those who grapple with mental health, providing a voice to the struggles that accompany the journey through life. 

Who do I share these with?

I read my poems to the majority of people willing to listen but more so to my friends. 

My world of poetry is a testament to the power of the written word to heal, inspire, and connect.

Where do I write these? 

Every writer has their sacred space. I have a notebook (pictured above) - it used to be an insignificant thing that I purchased on a whim, but here I am taking it everywhere with me. Wanting to fill the pages top to bottom, front to back. 

I also write in my phone notes, when I can’t sit down and write out into my notebook. It’s quite convenient, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting what you’re writing. Ensuring that no precious thought goes unrecorded.

As I continue to fill the pages of my notebook and the digital spaces on my phone, I feel that poetry is not just a form of art; it's a lifeline to our deepest emotions and experiences.

I have a favourite poem…

‘Art is a beautiful word’ by J.P King

You are your own work of art

your canvas guides the brush

even when you morph into a new medium

the clay knows what it’s doing

the audience watches your art move

in awe of how it’s done

how do you craft such a piece, with seemingly no tools.

Where would I like to be with my poetry?

I’d like to create collections to share with people, I desire being able to share a part of myself with others. Collections that resonate with people, to offer them a glimpse into my inner world. 

Performing my poetry would be an amazing step forward, I have put some thought into it and I would like to do that. The thought of stepping onto a stage with my words is both thrilling and daunting, yet it's a challenge I’m looking to embrace.

I recognize that growth as a poet doesn't happen in isolation. I would really benefit from engaging with another poet and to learn about expanding my craft.  There’s so much value in engaging with another poet, someone who can share insights, inspire new perspectives, and help me expand and refine my work. Navigating the intricate landscape of poetry, each stanza is a step closer to mastering how to captivate the art of expression. 

Other poets?

Bell Hooks is someone I’ve just started to read poetry from. I find that older literature and passages also inspire me to keep doing what I do. 

Black History Month 

Here are a couple of poems I’ve written to celebrate Black History Month. One of them is dedicated to my grandmother. She came from Jamaica most likely in her early teens, and passed away at age 64. She introduced many people to her genuine and unyielding spirit.

‘Marjorie’ by J.PKing

‘Of her many names 

one lady

take pride in

her rich skin

nothing could shake

the word of my grandmother

her warm tone

and gentle smile

every woman before her

fighting for the lime-light

a heritage teetering 

on fading memories

and “I think so..” storytelling

just to be met with forgetful ears

what a beautiful world would it be

to witness 

how everyone I know came to be

pouring love into my culture

our likeness ever changing.’

Cold Remembrance’ by J.PKing

‘Decades pass

and struggles grow

our ancestors become our lead

as we go through the same

time and time again

different forms of the same everything

everywhere we turn

there is something 

or someone

already fighting within ourselves 

and then there is more to fight with

how might I add

turmoil in the dirt

among many 

more months of divided history teachings.’

Diving into the history of Windrush has brought forward a deeper connection to art from other black artists and their depiction of life. I have further expanded the space for introspection, on how I view life and connections with my family.  It's Black History Month in October and this gives more insight into the experiences of Black people, with such celebrations we share our lived experiences.  

Thank you to Jessica/JP.King for this truly moving blog piece - what an incredible gift for language! Great to see Jessica perform one of her poems in this video too, a genuine talent. If anyone in our community has experience with poetry and would like to connect with Jessica to help her take her passion forward, please get in touch with our Ambassador Community Lead Rabina: [email protected]