Today I have a special treat. TL Rodgers graciously answered some interview questions for us, and I’m reviewing her beautiful poetry book, An Unapologetic Expression.
Interview with TL Rodgers
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is TL Rodgers and I live in the UK. I am a proud mother to a blog called Simplywoke which can be found on Tumblr. The blog is all about positivity, mindfulness and spirituality; three things I felt weren’t being represented on social media well enough and still isn’t. To be completely frank I created the blog in the spur of the moment decision, one summer afternoon never imagining it would connect and resonate with so many people. I am also the author of the debut poetry book An Unapologetic Expression which dropped this summer. It is honestly one of my greatest acheivements in life.
How long have you been writing poetry?
I have such a stop and start relationship with poetry. I had always admired modern poetry growing up and had tried writing some myself in my younger years but quickly stopped because one I felt mine was terrible and two I didn’t like letting people knowing what I truly thought about things. It was only late last year when I started to write again but this time it was just little poems on the notes section on my phone which I often deleted soon after. It was only spring this year that I found myself writing serious poetry.
What inspires your poetry?
A lot of things I’d say life, my experiences, my faith. I haven’t lived incredibly long but I feel like I’ve seen and been through enough to have a say and share it. When I started writing what would later become An Unapologetic Expression I was going through a very rough time and I find that a lot of my thoughts and feelings about the situation and life in general (good and bad) can be found in my poems. Likewise, I’d say my faith in spirituality inspired my poetry as a lot of my poems are about the universe, our purpose and our power as spiritual beings. Last but not least my Simplywoke family who put such a smile on my face with their sweet messages and support.
Do you have a favorite piece or section from An Unapologetic Expression?
I honestly loves poems ; 1, 2, 4 and 5 a lot but if I had to say a favourite section it would be part 4 of the book called “The People’s Poems” because there’s a lot of universal truths in those poems.
How long did it take you to write An Unapologetic Expression?
It tooks me months to write An Unapologetic Expression, I started it in spring and finished it in the summer. I think it took me quite a while because I didn’t try to rush the process,only writing when I felt most compelled to do so which meant that I could write a poem on Monday and not write another one until two weeks later.
Was it difficult to decide on the order of the poetry in An Unapologetic Expression?
No not really, I just ordered my poems in order of my feelings during the different stages of the season, which funnily enough seem to mirror the stages of the natural cycle e.g peace and calm, tension and then the climatic problem, resolve at the end.
Is this a hobby or a career for you?
People always say when you do something you love it’s not a career it’s a dream and that’s how I feel about my writing. I had wanted to expand my influence from the blog and get more personal for some time and so being able to do just by sharing my thoughts is amazing and such a blessing.
Are you working on another book? Can you give us a hint as to what it will contain or when it will be available?
Yes I am and it’s set to hit your screens in the month to come, so stay updated to my socials. This new book focuses on the same themes as my poetry book however differs as it talks about honing in on these skills and traits instead.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? Do you have a least favorite part?
My favourite part of writing is having an idea and seeing it come together so well. There’s no better feeling than reading something you wrote and being proud like I wrote that. Least favourite part is writer’s block which all other writers can agree on.
Do you have any advice to aspiring poets?
Write what you know. Don’t think that you have to write a certain way or like a certain poet in order to be a good or successful poet because no one likes an unoriginal copycat. Last but not least, have fun and be free with your writing, because that’s where your best poems will come from.
An Unapologetic Expression
TL Rodgers presents her debut poetry book that encompasses themes of identity, spirituality and mindfulness.
Each part of the book explores a different season of the author’s life,allowing the reader into her mind and thought.
With her way with words,An Unapologetic Expression is certain to resonate with you and become your new favourite book.
I connected with each part of this book of poetry for different reasons, however, my absolute favorite section is Part 3, Recovery. This part was very relatable to me, and I enjoyed reading through it.
TL Rodgers has a beautiful way of presenting imagery in her poetry. Each piece flows, and it is very clear she is writing from her heart.
If you’re a poetry fan, and even if you’re not normally, I highly suggest taking a look at An Unapologetic Expression. I think you’ll find something here that speaks to you.
Connect with TL Rodgers
Goodreads @simplywoke / TL Rodgers
Let me know what you think. A big thanks to TL Rodgers for agreeing to to a spotlight!