Today we’d like to introduce you to Tyesha Mack.
Hi Tyesha, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I started writing poetry very young and always kept it a secret. I stayed a closet poet up until my early 20s. I didn’t share them or allow anyone to read my journals. Then, in 2018 a friend of mine took me to an open mic, where she signed me up without telling me. I got on stage and thoroughly embarrassed myself because my confidence was not there. I started practicing and sharing more; then, in July 2019, I hosted my first open mic. After that first show, I started being booked for feature performances and went on to host 8 other open mic shows. I began writing my book when I was 24 and never took steps to take it seriously because I was afraid of sharing myself that way. I assumed my story wasn’t good enough to be heard. In 2021, I finally decided to go for it! I titled my book, created its covers, edited it, and self-published it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Some days I still can’t believe I took that leap, but all the time, I’m very grateful that I did. Telling my story has helped others heal, inspired readers, and given me hope that I could be more, as well as sharing my readers that same hope.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been smooth?
The process of self-publishing is not an easy one in itself, but it gets harder when what you’re writing is so open and vulnerable. I had to overcome my anxiety, my fear of not being accepted, the curves that black creators go through, and curveballs like losing 50 pages and having to rewrite them all. There were a lot of tears and emotions going into this journey. I had to recount experiences I had only told my therapist and relive things I thought I’d never want the world to know. Even with all the challenges and downfalls in my life and this process, I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I genuinely believe my work will reach great heights and become a bestselling work.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Aside from writing my debut poetry collection, I’m a spoken word performer under the stage name. “Honey The Poet. I’ve performed on many stages giving the crowd emotions that they sometimes can’t read on the page. I’m known for the “old-timey” southern feel I bring to the stage. The warmth and truth I make the audience feel made me very popular with spoken word crowds. I’ve been compared to one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou, but my story sets me apart from anyone. My journey, no matter how relatable, is like no other, and I tell it in a way that people feel me and grow to know me through my work. My voice, my presence on its own, holds uniqueness, making me stand out in a crowd. I am genuinely a Sunflower in a bed of roses.
What changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
Many people think poetry is dead or dying, but the talent and amount of space being created for poets to share and flourish say otherwise. I believe poetry will be live and large in the next 5-10 years. People will travel worldwide to see an authentic open mic or poetry showcase. The way poetry ties in with music, reading, and culture could never die. I see “Instagram poets” as the largest trend, creating poetry that is only a sentence long for each piece. I believe that trend will not last long because people like to feel and be captivated, while one sentence can sometimes hold so much power that it can not go on over time. Readers and those who experience poetry life will need and request more.
- •Copy of FTWT – $14.99
- Website: https://linktr.ee/TyeshaMack
- Instagram: Instagram.com/@tyesha_mack_
- Twitter: Twitter.com/@tyesha_mack_
Richard Washington Sadriel Butler Cori Smith Tyesha Mack