“Poetry is something that demands to be contemplated before, during and after reading it,” said Sam Stimer, a senior English major. “The language and imagery used in poetry forces its way into your mind regardless if you want it to or not. Especially in modern poetry, I think it’s becoming a way for people to process things and reach out to others to create a bridge between author and reader.”
This February, Z Publishing House is releasing “Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets.”
The book will feature works of more than 90 up-and-coming Indiana-based poets, including four current AU students and one recent AU grad.
After reading their previous work in AU’s Literary Arts Magazine, the publishers approached Stimer; junior English and journalism major Hannah Ader; senior language arts education major Emily Ploetz; junior English major Rebekka Paulsen; and May 2017 graduate Megan DeBruyn, asking them to submit original poems for their upcoming book.
“What I love about poetry is that it’s subjective,” said Ader. “You can be reading the exact same line as someone else, but based on your own personal experiences, it can be so incredibly different for each person, and I think that’s awesome. “Through poetry we are challenged to see things not just as black and white, but also the gray areas,” she said. “It helps us understand there’s not just one way of thinking, and to me that’s the best part.”
Z Publishing is dedicated to pairing new writers and readers by producing anthologies with multiple authors instead of single-author volumes.
Their goal is to foster a community of readers and new writers, bringing the industry closer together.
By seeking out undiscovered talent, they give a voice to authors whose voices may not have been heard at other larger publications.
“It is a great honor to have my work published,” said Ploetz. “I was recently in contact with Z Publishing going over final edits for my poem and they sent me all of the other poems that are going to be in the book as well.
“There are so many wonderful poems in this book and so many unique and powerful voices,” she said. “I am just grateful to be in the middle of all of it.”
Paulsen was also extremely flattered to have her work published.
Although this is not the first time she’s had her writing published, it is always affirming to her that she has chosen the right career path.
“For many years I bounced around from one area of interest to another, never actually enjoying one enough to stick with it,” Paulsen said. “Having this published is validation that the career I chose is the right one for me. I finally feel like writing is something I can happily pursue.”
These women are definitely on their way to making careers out of their writing. Stimer stressed the importance of producing work that others can relate to and benefit from.
By choosing tough topics and issues that other people are also struggling with, the Ravens featured in the book are doing just that.
“The poem they chose was about a reflection of my relationship with my older sister,” said DeBruyn. “Growing up we had kind of a complicated relationship, and because she is older I have always looked up to her. It’s mostly about that point in my life where I realized that she wasn’t as perfect as I had always thought she was.
“It’s really about that moment when I realized that someone I had idolized is more similar to me than I thought,” she said. “It was a sobering experience, but it humanized her.”
“I think poets are always attempting to put words to something that can’t be defined,” said Ploetz. “But there’s beauty in the attempt.”
“Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets” is available for pre-order on Z Publishing House’s website.