I had the delight to read the following words on Instagram recently by a warm and talented entrepreneur, and Founder of My Ebony Box Jenaitre Farquharson:
'We believe very strongly in supporting phenomenal women and the work that they do, we have chosen to support and acknowledge the work of poetess and writer, Suzy Rigg. After meeting the wonderful Suzy, early this year, we were charmed by her warm spirit and striking energy. We were really excited to hear about the release of her brand new book, Songs of My Soul. The beautiful poetess and writer sent us a copy of her brand new book to review and we really enjoyed taking a moment out to appreciate the exciting and raw work by Suzy, we felt a deep connection while reading Songs of My Soul and what we loved about reading this book was that we felt her poetry took us on a journey of life, we felt her passion while she kept stimulating our minds, page after page. She covers many diverse areas of the shared human experiences from falling in love, womanhood, motherhood, ageing and heartache. Our favourite poem in the book is called Maya, and inspired by our phenomenal woman Maya Angelou.
I'm still stunned, it feels like reading about another person. I am truly humbled to have created deep feeling in another human being - all I can hope for is that everyone who reads Songs of My Soul, closes the book feeling hopeful, positive and connected. The winding road of life is something we all tread together.
Iyanla Vanzant has been a spiritual writer and inspiration for me for the longest time. I've have well-thumbed copies of Acts of Faith and Faith in the Valley that have been great to dip into when relationships are going sour or it's been difficult to see any light in a dim period of life, So, when the opportunity came to listen to her speak in London, I jumped at the chance; it was a sweltering summer Saturday night in the heart of Camberwell, South London and the black female community was out in force and looking fine! Brenda Emmanus was resplendent as the event's host, sporting a fifties style gold coloured tea-dress, perfect for this glamorous and uplifting occasion!
She spoke eloquently and passionately about the whole range of issues: relationships, healing, self-esteem, self-belief with self-detracting humour. Iyana he also talked about her career and specifically her writing. She talked about how her words were delivered to her, and her job was to 'download' them - that resonated with me as I had written a few words about the same phenomenon in my first anthology 'Songs of My Soul' it's called 'Bloody Prose'
I wrote this, as a tribute to one of the most influential black women writers in recent history, and one of my favourite poets – Maya Angelou. I’ve recorded an audio clip of me reading the poem for your additional enjoyment! ad it. Maya is on page 20 of ‘Songs of My Soul’ – let me know what you think!
Lots of writers will tell you that they are inspired by anything and everything. I think inspiration can be put into two categories: the external world and your world within. Poets and writers usually fall into one camp, but some like myself like to hop between the two themes sometimes merging the two, usually to help them make sense of the external world in our own lives. Or conversely to figure out aspects of our psyche and personality that impact our daily lives and those around us.
‘Songs’ falls mainly into the 'world within' category – the clue’s in the title! Whether you believe in the soul or not, writing about issues that are close to your heart and soul certainly makes for some interesting introspection. Common idioms are 'they spoke from the soul' the 'life and soul' of the party or ‘soul-searching’. It's no accident that this word is used to describe our deepest feelings, almost describing the essence of who we are. Soul may mean a different thing to me and you, but we know what we mean when we talk about the soul.
If you’re a person who is in touch with their soul, you will love many of the poems in ‘Songs', if you have cut yourself off from some of the more difficult emotional areas in your life, ‘Songs of My Soul’ may precipitate a small and positive spiritual awakening in you. Either way, do let me know what you think.