I had reached a point in my writing that I felt I could confront the fear of sharing my words. Out of all the writers and poets I read on social media there was one fledgling poet and gifted writer that shone brightly. Mustering my confidence I reached out to who at the time I knew to be Sharon Johnson and now know to be my friend. She was incredibly gracious with her time and advice. During the development of our friendship we wrote, exchanged notes, shared stories and somewhere along the way we connected in a shared love of literacy. Not only could I share my poetry with Sharon I found myself being able to trust her with a collaboration. I had never considered this as an option but that it felt so natural was equally surprising. We challenged each other to write better, reach deeper and take this chance on one another. Sharon has now developed a style of writing unique to her during our poetic sparring. The results of which are crafted within our book.
I remember the day I first met Ryan Baird. It was Memorial Day 2015. I’d written poetry all my life, but had only started sharing it publicly for about 5 months. At the time, I wasn’t considered a serious poet yet. Ryan asked me if I’d be interested in helping him with some poetry. I thought he wanted suggestions about how his poems might look on certain pictures or the kind of font he should use. I had no idea this would develop into us writing a poetry book together. Until Ryan suggested it, I’d never given collaborating with anyone a thought. I agreed and we began to work on our book. Ryan was like the hurricane you never see coming, until it’s upon you. He walked into my life like a whirl wind. I’d never met anyone so excited about poetry ever. He climbed mountains even though he was scared of heights. He fiercely loves his family and was always a man of his word. He was as blue collar as you could get and yet, he was a true wordsmith and his words are some of the most exquisitely beautiful I’ve ever read. The poetry held within these pages are very different than most poems you’ll ever read. We worked on our poetry with a particular theme from his view point and mine. We collaborated on several of the poems. We wrote in various styles such as; Rhyming, Haiku, Acrostic and Free verse. And he was gracious enough to try his hand at the new style of poetry I now love to write. Ryan and I have not only found a unique balance in our different writing styles: but over the past 23 months since we’ve created this beautiful book, we’ve became loving, caring friends with a connection and bond that will stay with us forever.