On Jan. 8, 2016, a teenage Emelie Brown began her career as a poet in a frozen yogurt shop where she was employed. Little did she know then, that this was the beginning of our journey toward becoming a published poet.
“It started with the Notes app on my phone. Just bored at work, writing poems randomly, and through that, going through those it’s like the deepest parts of me,” Brown said, “I remember specifically what I was doing. I was cutting fruits in the back and I grabbed my phone and I was like I need to write this down.”
As a Samford senior, Brown is working toward publishing her first collection of poetry. Thought the pandemic has made the process more difficult, she remains hopeful that everything will go smoothly going forward.
“We’ve had several different launch dates, but hopefully it will be this year,” Brown said.
When deciding what poems to include in her book, Brown had a wide range of poems to choose from.
“The hardest part was choosing,” Brown said, “I am all over the place. I love every kind of thing. I feel like my mind takes me there. It’s never ‘I’m going to write it this way.’”
She said she is inspired by writers like Emily Dickinson and Morgan Harper Nichols, and is drawn to the genre because of the opportunity for vulnerability it creates.
“It’s a creative outlet,” Brown said, “I can still be myself in it whereas with other forms of writing I can’t do that as much.”
Brown’s writing process includes keeping notes on her phone and editing those thoughts later.
“A lot of pieces in my notes are bits of poems, but not full poems. They are just ideas I have to write down eventually,” Brown said.
However, she cautions against over-editing poetry, because it can actually hurt the meaning of the poem.
“If you edit it to a point, it’s not what you meant it as anymore,” she said.
Another opportunity she is using to embrace her love of poetry is through serving as editor-in-chief of Samford’s student-made Sojourn Magazine. Last year, the magazine focused on the pandemic and how it was shaping campus life. This year, the theme is poetry.
This year’s issue will feature student submitted poems, artwork, and photography. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found on their Instagram page, @samfordsojourn.
Brown encourages all students to submit their work.
“It is very unique,” Brown said, “I’m very excited to have this opportunity and that Dr. Haun gave me this opportunity.”