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An Interview with BGPS Winner Amanda Harris (Lady Poet Speaks)



Tell us about you! How old are you and where are you from? What’s a fun fact about your hometown?

 I’m From Cleveland Ohio, born and raised there my whole life. I am 31 years old. Cleveland is a city that can hold its own. A funny thing about Cleveland is we can have snow in the morning and sun in the evening. But we get used to it!


What inspired your winning poem ‘The Physician?”

 What inspired my poem The Physician was church hurt . Not regular church hurt, but being failed by the one place that I thought I never would be. The church failed me in not reporting the abuse. 


You wrote three memoirs about surviving abuse in your family. Tell us about those memoirs and where readers can find them.

 My books are titled Back From Bondage: I Broke Free. It's about growing up in kinship care and being sexually abused. In His Eyes: Finding my way back to God is about losing my way. It took who they would consider just a manager, to look in my eyes and see the hurt. Victoria saved my life and taught me how to find my way back to God. My third book is titled Through the Cracks, 20 stories about how the system failed me. But also how I found strength and courage when I thought I couldn’t stand, and realized I had people who tried to mend the cracks. 


 In what ways do you advocate for abuse victims outside of writing? Can you share any resources with us for anyone reading this who might be struggling with sharing their experiences?

 Yes, I work with at-risk youth who have been abused. My program is called Finding My Throne Ministries. We help girls find their potential after abuse. Also, I have an upcoming podcast called Open Letters to a Survivor, sharing letters of survival through abuse. Letters I wrote to myself. I have an email where I can be reached. Openletterstoasurvivor@gmail.com. Where I will share resources from different states. We will also have online support as well. 


 Besides being a poet/writer, what else do you do for work and/or hobbies?

 My favorite thing to do when I am not working as a Customer Care Representative for CVS Health is to look at pictures of houses. I love to search Zillow and just browse. I also love taking care of my fur baby Frosty! And spending time with my Mom. 

 

Are you also a spoken-word poet? If so, where have you performed, and can readers find clips of your performances online?

 I’ve done spoken word a few times at events. Although they were televised live they are not on any platforms. 

 

In your opinion, what is it about being a Black woman that makes our voice in poetry so unique?

 Being a black woman is poetry. Our voices are often used to tell secrets that we hide deep in our soul. It’s the fire in our voice that allows us to so eloquently tell our stories. Our voices heal generations of secrets and pain pawned off as culture. Black women's voices in poetry carry giants on our backs and give us the grace and freedom to express everything we feel. That’s why I love being a black woman who writes and speaks through pen and paper. 


What was your experience like working with us and the Black Girl Poetry Scrapbook?

Working with the Black Girl Poetry Scrapbook has been amazing. They have been patient, yet so encouraging. One of the best experiences I have had in a long time. 


 

 Do you have any other projects and/or events coming up?

 My Podcast Open Letters to a Survivor will premiere on Sunday March 24, 2024 7pm EST. Working on 2 books 1 titled  Explicit. Also Open Letters to My Inner Child. And launching my magazine in May titled The Survival Guide. 





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Guest
Mar 22

Check out Barbarawaoker6795 on You Tube for a short clip on words of encouragement from Amanda Harris.

https://youtube.com/shorts/C1e2Lcndw8k?si=VWzZXyHbIRQ57bib

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Guest
Mar 22

Love it! This is what survivors do!

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