Last fall I wrote a poem about a moment in middle school when I was humiliated by a teacher who told me, just before taking a group photo, “move to the back row, to hide your full figure.” With my head held low, and my heart in my throat, I did go. The poem is titled, “My Curves.” I wrote the poem, then placed it in a folder and moved on. When revisiting the poem, I realized the “My Curves” poem was the first of what would become a collection of poems that reveal moments that made me feel less than in my womanly form.
My poetry collection, titled, Being a Woman – Overcoming, highlights situations that sometimes belittle women, including those that demonstrate the miraculous life-giving abilities of the female body. The collection will take you through a variety of relatable subjects and honest emotions, including humor.
Although the poems are presented and illustrated by women (me the poet and my illustrator daughter), the poems and illustrations are sure to provide all readers with reflection, understanding, perspective, and laughter too. Upcoming poems in the next two collections will reveal a blossoming speaker who continues to grow in, and eventually fully own, self-confidence and self-love.
The Motivation Behind the Honest Lines
Although I have come a long way since I was a humiliated ninth-grader walking to the back row, in front of stares and gaped mouths, I am still learning to fully love and honor my womanly physique and gifts, which includes standing confidently poised in front of a world that does not always encourage and support, as we all know. My why behind writing and sharing personal lines, is that our three collections will take the Being a Woman creators, and the readers, on a transformative journey from less than feelings, revealed in Collection 1, to greater than feelings, to be revealed in Collection 3.
I wrote this poetry collection to explore inner thoughts and outward shapes that women may have hidden away, because we have been told early and often to do so. Within the collection I also question a few differences in attitudes and unequal practices between women and men. These poems have delivered many gifts, and I hope they do for you too. I hope they remind you how incredible you are and all you have overcome.
There was a time when I first had the idea to collaborate with my daughter on a children’s book about the adventures of our pet box turtle, Lucky, who had disappeared for a year, to be found by a neighbor after we had moved a state away. Maybe we will still write that tale of adventure and reunion someday, but the subject of our first collaboration is quite different from the children’s book I originally had in mind.
I knew early in my daughter’s life that she was a gifted artist. I wrote about that realization and the inspiring journey that raising an artist has taken me on, in a piece titled, “A Different World through my Daughter’s Eyes.” Our walls and shelves are adorned with many of her amazing creations, which can also be found in other spaces, including digital spaces. Just like her paintings add character and life to our walls, her drawings do the same for the Being a Woman collection of poems. Collaborating with my daughter during the pandemic has added cherished moments of connection to my stretched-out days and shortened the many miles between us. Apropos that my daughter would learn of receiving an art scholarship from her university as we were finalizing our illustrated poetic pages.
We are excited to present our first of three collections available in paperback format (to enhance reader experience due to the included drawings and layout design). To order our poetry chapbook, Being a Woman – Overcoming, click here or visit Amazon and type in the title or my name. 😊
Thank you for visiting and learning about the story behind our first illustrated poetry collection. “Stay home” orders freed up some of our time, making a collaborative project possible. We learned a great deal about combining our artistic passions and the steps involved in the KDP self-publishing process. We will continue walking down our respective creative paths and learning and sharing more of ourselves along the way. ♥
Should you decide to purchase our chapbook, thank you! As a first-time KDP user, please let me know at if there are any issues with the purchase process and of course, I would love to hear your thoughts about our final product, as we begin working on the next collection.🙏
Wishing you a creative and inspired weekend. 😊Michele
Picture 1: Being a Woman original (copyrighted) design Picture 2: Me and Sammi, taken during our December visit Picture 3: Being a Woman illustrator, Sammi Lee, sharing one of her original creations
Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.