Name: Shartecia Nya King
Hometown: Austell, Georgia
School: Campbell High School
Favorite Poet(s): Maya Angelou, Miles Hodges
Fun Fact: I’ve broken everything from her knees down at least twice
Q: Why Poetry?
Tia King: I don’t know whether I chose to do poetry, more so than I was just writing, and it just turned into this. I don’t really know how it came about? But I love it, and I never want to stop. It’s truly an art form that alot of people don’t appreciate… It takes a good amount of talent and a good amount of strength. It can turn out to be taxing, doing this everyday, but I wouldn’t trade it.
Q: In the great scheme of things or life, where does poetry fit in?
TK: I don’t know if it fits in anywhere yet ’cause it’s not music, but in some ways it can be very melodic. It’s not dancing, although there is specific type of movement, a specific type of rhythm that goes with poetry. It’s kinda like, it’s hard to explain really. I feel like in life poetry is just, how to release.
Q: How or when did you find yourself as a poet?
TK: Well, I’m still looking for myself, but I was in ninth grade, that was the first [time] I actually started writing long pieces. When I was in sixth grade I wrote short stanzas, but I never really saw that as poetry. When I got to be a freshman… that was when I was like, Yeah, I write. I’m a poet, that makes sense.
Q: Describe your writing routine or process.
TK: Usually I get a line, and it stays with me, and I never really know where it goes… I get that line and I build around it or I build from it… There are some poems that take me a few days to write, but most of my poems I just get into a writing mood and I sit there for like hours writing.
Q: When or where are you most inspired?
TK: I really would like to say in this space, Brave New Voices [practice hosted at VOX Teen Communications] because I’m surrounded by amazing writers, and it’s like I’ve learned so much here I want to write about it. I know these things now. I get really inspired at school, not because [it’s] inspirational, but because there’s nothing else for me to think about other than poetry
Q: Is there some consistent trademark or characteristic that you’ve discovered in your poetry?
TK: The repetition of the word ‘like,’ like I use similes strongly — I’m really good at simile. I’m very descriptive, a lot of imagery.
Q: Your favorite poem you’ve written and why?
TK: I would like to say “All That Black,” because that was one of my poems that [is] very simple and it’s just very easy to follow, and it’s hard — like its a hard-hitting poem.
Q: Outside of poetry, who are you, what do you?
TK: I am a musician. It seems like everything I do revolves around writing in some way. I would Like to call myself a musical artist. I write songs more than I write poetry. I am a granddaughter… l my grandma so much. I’m a girlfriend — a lot of things have to do with me loving other people.
Q: What do you hope to achieve with your talents and skills in life?
TK: I want to achieve, I just want to be accepted. And if I can use my words to do that, if I can use my words to make someone else feel loved, make someone feel something I never got the chance to feel, I honestly would feel like I did everything I need to do with my writing.
Q: Any special news, events or releases we should be excited for?
TK: I’m going to Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival [with Team ATL Word Works], catch it on youtube somewhere! I wanna start working on an EP or mixtape, but I be hella broke, so Imma have to like not quit my job.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share — advice, anecdotes — to young poets?
TK: Don’t let any poetic stereotype dictate your work. That’s what happened to me. I was so used to writing and rhyming stanzas that … I got into the space of being a rhymer … and rhymers is cool, you can do that. But don’t let that trap you.
As told to Ogechi N. Ofodu, 19, also a member of Team ATL Word Works.
Interested in Slam Poetry?
Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival is an annual slam poetry competition for poets ages 13 to 19. This year the festival will convene in the Bay Area, California, July 19-22.
Atlanta Word Works offers free poetry workshops during the school year at VOX, too. Submit your own original work for publication by emailing email@example.com.