Recently Ella Curry, CEO of EDC Creations (www.edc-creations.com) and founder of the Sankofa Literary Society (www.sankofaliterarysociety.org) had the opportunity to talk with the author of book Afroetry, Linda Mayfield-Hayes.
SLS Intimate Conversations Interview Questions
Tell us your latest news?
I haven't been very active lately, but this past summer, I was invited to be the featured guest at a poetry event held in Greenville, South Carolina. After the event, the church pastor asked me to read a few of my poems at his church, and set up a table and chair for me to sell a few books. Not only did I sell all 50 copies I had carried with me, but I received several more orders through the mail. This was very exciting experience, and I met so many wonderful people.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My father died of a brain tumor when I was 14 years old. Shortly after, I retreated into my own little world. There, the only thing that comforted me was writing poetry. I found it to be very therapeutic.
What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I haven't written a novel yet, but I have published three books of poetry. I was inspired by a group of co-workers. My place of employment was celebrating Black History Month, and various employees were being asked to participate by reading the poems of famous black poets. When I was asked, I said that I would rather write a poem of my own for the occassion. That's when I wrote a poem entitled, "Freedom Torch". After reading this poem for the group, they encouraged be to continue writing and I eventually was encouraged me to publish my poems in the form of a chapbook. That's when I wrote my first book, "Life is a Roller Coaster".
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I used to love listening to the poetry of Nikki Giovanni on the radio years ago, but my writing style is my own. I enjoy wrting acrostics and rhyming poems. I especially like the challenge of writing acrostics that rhyme.
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Well, my first book. "Life is a Roller Coaster" is about various situations that I have personally lived through in one way or another. My last book, "Afroetry" is basically about the black experience.
What are your current projects?
I'm not working on any new projects at the moment, but I have been knocking around the idea of publishing a children's book.
Do you feel that the explosion in African-AmerDo you feel that the explosion in African-American writers is a fad or another renaissance?
No. The African-American writer is here to stay!
Do you feel more African-Americans are reading? If not, how can we help increase this?
I think African-Americans have always been reading, only now more African-Americans are writing thanks to the internet and self-publishing.
Linda Mayfield-Hayes (Salter)
Afrocentric Poetry that Educates & Motivates