Liken to the waves of the ocean in her hometown of Savannah, GA, Brook Blander, is a force of nature. At the tender age of five, she penned her first story and has since matured into an author, poetess, publisher, lecturer, teacher and mentor. Honesty, passion and the power of words are her weapons to proclaim love, profess healing and calm the unrest in the souls of the lost. Her personal movement includes the restoration of the hearts and spirits of women wounded by violence. Thus, she is a compassionate philanthropist to the cause. Her proudest of all accomplishments is being a mother and partner in love. She lives in Michigan where she continues to write, design and manage her companies.
Believing every artist’s vision is the truth of their work led to her founding ebonyLotus Creatives in 2009, a publishing company which allows her full creative control of her works and offers the same to poets, and authors. In conjunction, it is the revitalization of the art of journaling through her exquisite handmade journal line. Later that year, the perfect storm, quiet and mighty, arrived in her fourth book, Personal. Intimate Comforts of Reflection (2009).
With her own, true and personal journal entries included, the book portrays love and exposes the horrors of physical abuse passed on by women generations before her, and in beauty with grace tells of their strength to endure. Left without choice, Detroit split wide open to make way for her and she has not refused them. She has performed at various venues to including Artist Endeavor; Collaborative Art and Poetry (feature poet), Echoverse Poetry Series DPL Words After Dark at the Detroit Public Library, I Am Woman Expo (feature poet) in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month at Wayne State University. In addition, she has been a featured guest on Sol Searching BlogTalk Radio as well as Motown Literary Writers Radio Show. Blander was also a feature poet for the opening ceremony night for the 2009 Essence of Motown Literary Jam Conference. These opportunities extended her reach to the world and today the benefits continue to astound.
BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
It is my belief that every person has the power to create change. Writing is my power. I have and continue to reach many through the power of the written word. What’s important, as a writer, is to be aware of that power and use it for positive change.
BPM: How much of what you write reflects on your outlook on life?
A great deal of what I write is a reflection of my outlook on life. I vie to tell stories (through poetry, memoir and fiction) of triumph in overcoming the obstacles placed in our lives. The subject lines that I illustrate are real and it is my duty to write them authentically and as I know them.
BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration to write in everyday living and triumphs. To see a woman feeding her child with no worries of where the next meal will come from is an inspiration for me. I'm inspired by the many things I observe in a day. I also read the poetry of poets that I admire and am inspired.
BPM: What do you think of the increasingly fortuitous sex in African American literature?
It’s disappointing to say that least. Literature is a mockery of life as we see it, and unfortunately in all the other medias, we are seeing an overflow of the same thing…sex filled movies, sex filled songs…sex, sex and more sex. Someone told a truth long ago in the statement that “sex sells.” It does and many African American artists have taken this as an invitation to write it to sell make money. I am often thrown off by the few books of literature on the shelves amongst the overflow of other writings. To me, this is an encouragement to continue writing the literature that I write.
BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...Truth, in its most raw form. We, African Americans, have lost and been misinformed on so much of “our” Truth. It has been sugar-coated and watered down so much that there are as many accounts as there are people giving them. My writing removes the substitutes and fillers and bestows my own honest interpretation of the world that I see around me today to the eyes that will view it tomorrow.
BPM: now that Im here is a story filled with the joy and pain of remembrance, and the glory of a journey to the sun. Like the lotus flower, the roots of poetess, Brook Blander, settle in the muddy waters of her past. These seven chapters rearrange the mind and reach for the deepest regions of the heart. The product of a rape and molestation, the collection opens in The Basement of moist walls, singing blues and the marks the end, and the beginning of two souls. Hanging Moss is a meal to remember those gone during a season of unjust killings. Waiting for Tomorrow tells of a child deprived and Girl of a life of growth and acceptance. Making You tells of the desperation for and need for love while A Getting Society shows how selfish behaviors and laziness are inherited.
BPM: What specific revelation prompted you to write now that I'm here: lyrics from the mud to the sun?
It is my belief that at some point and time in all of our lives, we are victims of something. It is also my belief that to be a victim is not something that is supposed to be permanent. I have reached a point in my own life where the title simply does not fit anymore. I was abused, I am no longer. I was molested. It is going on no longer. I believe that those that are blessed with the chance to leave a situation that made them a victim are obligated to share their story with others in hopes of bringing another survivor through. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
There is a list of people that I am aiming to reach with this book. I want to reach people that are still in the situations of domestic violence. I want to reach the parents that have had a hand in causing a pain that still lingers in their adult children. I am extending my reach with the lyrics of this book to youth that are beginning the journey into their adulthood with the same strikes on their backs that I carry. It is my desire to show them that there is a higher living, a forgiving life, and a life that can move forward and away from the pain.
BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
Though we read for entertainment and information, we read to relate. When a story or a poem or a character reflects an image of our own lives, we relate and hope for a solution to follow so that we get the outcome or avoid the outcome of the one in the writing. now that I'm here is an inspiration, and hopefully a motivation, to all that read it to heal, forgive, help, and live.
BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
now that I'm here touches on the topics of child abuse, domestic violence, rape and molestation. It also speaks on my view of poetry, love, triumph and acceptance.
BPM: What was the most powerful (section) chapter in the book, now that I'm here?
The most powerful section of now that I'm here has to be the final one, At The Feet of Yesterday. This portion of the book tells where I am, the height of feat that I have reached, in spite of all the prior chapters, of the book and of my life. It gives honor to those that have come before me and recognizes them as my foundation and strength. It is the part of the book that invites the reader into their own triumphant existence.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
…the realization that triumph awaits….that being a victim lasts as long as the victim desires. now that I'm here is my personal story, through lyric, of all that I have endured throughout my life. It ends with my joy. It ends with me denouncing my label of being a victim of molestation, witnessing domestic violence, and physical, sexual and verbal abuse. I write because I am a survivor and a conqueror and I desire for my readers to see the possibility for their own lives.
BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
This is my story. Mine. And though the topics are universal, I have written them in the voice of my own Truths to challenge and compel people to look beyond their cultures, religions and beliefs and find their way out of these situations. Poetry and pain are often found together, but less often is it written in a way that shows the ‘happy ending’. now that I'm here is my happy ending that cannot and could not be written by anyone else.
BPM: Share with us your latest news. How can readers reach you online?
Readers can visit my website at: http://www.brookblander.com/. Latest news, lets see. I have just released “The Soul’s Expanded Edition” of Personal; Intimate Comforts of Reflection. This is a re-release of my fourth book with additional poems. I will also be starting my e(mail)-gazine, ZoeticScribe, which is an email delivered magazine about and for women writers. Readers and writers can subscribe at http://www.brookblander.com/
Book: now that I'm here: lyrics from the mud to the sun
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Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/
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