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Dana Raulerson: Reach For the Sky!

Poets come in many versions. Some find original inspirations for how they build their poems, and others use that to translate it onto paper. Their journeys also begin at various times, with some taking hold of their talents at a young age.

“I started writing poetry at the age of nine when my best friend introduced me to free verse,” said this week’s author spotlight, Dana Raulerson. “I was incredibly drawn to the idea of using words, however I wanted to convey feelings about everyday things.”

She titled her first poem Sky, and it was the beginning of what would eventually become an interesting journey. Raulerson, like many people in her profession, took inspiration from a few accredited poets.

“My brother introduced me to Saul Williams and I became a fan for life,” she exemplified. “His rhythm, his complexity, his juxtapositions and his aggressive emotional content all resonate with me. And I’m a sonneteer, so of course I’m inspired by the great Billy Shakes.”

Her first book is Wire Flowers, a collection of poems comprised in a 31 page book. It was her first story.

“I joined Poetizer, a poetry social networking site, in 2019, and I started writing like mad,” she explained. “I amassed so many poems that I was actually very proud of. When quarantine struck, I decided it was the right time to self-publish my first book, so I took what I felt were my best highlights and categorized them by structured (wire) vs. free form (flowers).”

Most recently, she released Burnt Chords, a poetry book with common themes of love, mental illness and community.

“I use spoken word poetry on Twitter as an outlet for all the heightened emotions and stresses contained in those themes,” she added. “I talk about makeup and I talk about the weakness of our government and I talk about depression as almost a way of therapy. Burnt Chords was my way to save and repeat those spoken word poems.”

Raulerson also has a YouTube page in which she recites poetry while displaying her artistic vision. A third story, 70 Sonnets, is in the works and she is working hard to get that set up. In the meantime, she has some simple advice for future poets.

“Lean into the things that scare you.”

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