Porsché Bostick has been writing and performing spoken word (poetry) for as long as she can remember. Just as music conjures memories of difficult times or favorite places in our lives, the written word helps Bostick reflect on her past and see clearly into her future.
The 25-year-old New London resident, who says she wishes there were more local venues for poetic artists to perform, recently visited the Grace offices to talk about her craft.
What got you started?
Life is what got me started. My thoughts are poetry. I speak poetry. My heart beats poetry. At a very young age I would write for hours. I'd write through my pain. Poetry helps me to get through being sexually abused as a child. I've always been told that all things happen for a reason, but it never made sense to me why any child would be subjected to such pain. As an adult, I had that "aha" moment when I realized that through my writing I can relate to, as well as help, all the innocent children who are subjected to similar situations. I can be that someone for those who have no one. My paper and pen were always there when no one else was.
Where do you typically perform?
Hmmm, I will perform any and everywhere for any and everyone. I will never refuse a chance to inspire and/or exhibit my talent.
Do you remember the first time you performed? Describe that experience.
My first time was performing in front of a huge crowd during a school poetry show. I was nervous, afraid that no one would like it or maybe even laugh. Their reactions were the complete opposite.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
I just recite the poem over and over again in my head. I recite it in the mirror and then sometimes write it on the mirror in lipstick. I'm very self conscious so looking in the mirror makes me more comfortable.
Is there a "dream" place where you would like to perform?
Before Oprah went off the air, I would have loved to perform for her. I actually sent a few poems through email to her, but I never got a response. I feel like the influence I could have over the world is something that she has represented. Not patting myself on the back, but I have a lot that I want to share. I'm often told that I have an old soul. I feel like I can help a lot of people out.
Do you write down (save) every piece that you perform?
I most definitely try to write down everything that I perform. I will save it even if I don't like it. Months or years later I will find it, finish it, and it'll become yet another favorite.
How do you come up with your topics?
My topics all come from everyday life experiences, whether they are my own or someone else's. I find it interesting how I can seek inspiration in literally anything. I can write my way into a stranger's thoughts and pain. I have always been extremely observant, and the smallest situations make for an amazing topic and title.
Do you have a favorite author?
Sister Souljah. I love the way that she writes. The way she interprets life, the way she puts her feelings of expressions on paper. You can see and smell and taste everything that she is describing in her books. It's similar to the way that I write.
Do you have a favorite piece?
"Seasons Change" (see sidebar) because it's truly how I feel. I think everyone has a fear of failing and my fear was that no one would accept what I was trying to offer as far as my poetry. I have a different way of expressing myself; I'm very blunt, very vulgar. But it represents the person I am and the things I've been through. "Seasons Change" means I don't want to waste anymore time on things that don't matter. I feel like I've dwelled so long over the things that happened to me as a child, and I do still have my weak moments, but I feel like my poetry is a sign of strength that I never knew I had. It's a sign of the different stages I've gone through in my life.
How would you complete this sentence? Poetry is...
Pain. Happiness. A journey through life. Doubt. What I stand for. Why I am here.
Tell Me Something is a Grace online feature that highlights interesting women. Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I've been so afraid
Of whether to live
From fear of dying
I've wasted a season of my life
Being afraid of flying
Or perhaps to succeed
Cuz nothing lasts forever
There is only one of me
& there will be
a day to fall
Like autumn leaves
Branches so bare
For i dare not wish
My life to be that branch
Time is still prime
This world could one day be mine
My dreams stretch beyond the sky
And before winter comes
I want to glisten like summer
To breathe like spring
In life i want to experience
Before my Seasons Change.
— Porsché Bostick