Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Our Words Are Our Strongest Weapons: From an Interview With Alise Versella

Welcome to The Women Behind The Poetry, where we interview women from the 'Journey of The Heart: Women's Spiritual Poetry Project'! 

Today we introduce you to the young and compassionate poet Alise Versella, who passionately believes that poetry has the power to hold us up when we can't find a firm foundation to stand on. 

I first began writing poetry in the 6th grade after watching A Ring of Endless Light on television and the Color of Friendship. The congressman's speech at the end of that movie brought an 11 year old me to tears and that was when I discovered the power of words.

It’s easy for me to write poems on any subject, really. I’m inspired by life, music, cinema, the news and the stories of individuals. If it’s something I’ve personally experienced, it becomes even easier for me to write about it.

I consider myself an empathic person so I often write poems about the experiences of others, giving them a voice.

Today I'd say the subject of race is harder for me to write about, I have so much to say but can't figure out the right words with which to say it.

My biggest fear in sharing my poetry is that my words could literally get me in big trouble, but I think I am not famous enough yet for too many important people to care too much about what I write, so I send it out into the ether regardless. And I just do it all for me, I have something to say and I said it. That's how I move beyond it. I am a writer first and foremost. The public doesn't have to like what I say but it's important I find the strength to say it anyway.

Through writing poetry I have discovered that I am strong, that I am powerful. Words heal wounds and bring us out of our darkness and into the light.

Sometimes when I'm writing a piece I feel like I am no longer in control of my pen: That I have been possessed by a higher being or maybe just a heightened version of myself. I find religion in poetry, in the cathartic release of those words that just expel from me beyond my control. I consider that time "possessed" as a spiritual process.

Writing poetry has helped me cope through the many trials of life; my poetry has served as the mile markers on the road that is my life.

I find it impossible to keep a journal so I write poetry instead.

Reading the poems of others has an inspiring and calming effect on me; it's like listening to a really good song on the radio that gives me goose bumps. I love T.S Eliot, Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg and The Rose of Battle by Yeats. I have a portion of that one memorized! A poem called Becca inspired my third book. Ferlinghettis's Alienation: two bees. Ian Thomas's book I wrote this for you: pleasefindthis is superb!

I was first invited to the Journey of the Heart Poetry Project by Catherine Ghosh who asked me to submit a poem to spotlight my latest book release, for which I'm forever grateful. I have published three poetry book: Five Foot Voice, Onion Heart, A Few Wild Stanzas. I’ve also had my work featured on Rebelle Society and a Writers-editors online contest.

Being published in the Journey of The Heart project felt wonderful to me, as I loved being showcased alongside so many bright, talented women whose work I'd seen appear across many internet venues.

This is a project full of beautiful women speaking their minds and coming together to create. Creation is the most beautiful thing!

It is an honor to be part of this project and to have my poems picked for the new anthology Where Journeys Meet: The Voice of Women’s Poetry.

 It is a thrill to be offered the opportunity to send my words out to be read by others in hopes that they will mean something to someone, that they could help someone, just like the words of others have helped and inspired me.

I am young and still finding my way and who I am is changing day to day. But I'm learning my core values and my mission is becoming somewhat about teaching people the power of poetry.

Our words are our strongest weapons and that no one can take that away from us.

Alise Versella is a 24 year old poet living in the pinelands of New Jersey. Poetry has always been the ether in her veins and the oxygen she breathes. It is her Five Foot Voice, her Onion Heart, as she peels back the layers of herself like a lotus unfurling its petals in order to grow fully in the waters that can sometimes weigh her down. She writes poetry to find herself and save the world. Her hope it that her poetry saves someone’s world from crumbling. Alise believes art has the power to hold us up when we can’t find the legs to stand. You can visit Alise on her Facebook page here or her website here. Her third volume of poetry, A Few Wild Stanzas, is available here. 


~If you are one of the poetesses from 'Journey of the Heart', and would like to appear in this blog, just click here to request an interview. We are excited to learn more about you!~

~If you write poetry and would like to share it on 'Journey of The Heart', click here for submission -guidelines. And thank you for your interest!~  

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