I hope you are all doing well. It's time to serve up some poetry now. Let's say hello to Acacia Mitchell!
PB: Hi! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
AM: Thank you! I grew up in BC, Canada. I have been writing ever since I got over the fact that I had to for school.
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
AM: I have been incredibly inspired by "Do Hard Things"- a book by Brett and Alex Harris.
They challenge young people to pursue their potential and to expect great things from themselves. Essentially, "why wait until your an adult to do what you want to do now?"
A couple of years ago, I wrote over fifty poems for friends and family. That made me realize how much I love writing- how the words create music and the music creates emotion.
Why wait until I'm older to share that with people?
PB: When did you first start writing?
AM: I think I first started writing when I figured out how to connect words to each other. I first started writing with publishing in mind when I was around fifteen.
PB: What was the first poem that you can remember writing?
AM: I actually whipped out my first journal to answer this...one of the first poems I wrote was about my complete and utter loathing for math. I think I wrote it when I was eleven...behold: Acacia asking God why math exists and apparently considering it to be the worst humanity has to offer. Spelling mistakes included!
Math. It terrifys me.
Other people just can't see
I don't want to live like this
I know my life is all his but
how can this be his plan for me?
miserable, hurt, and misunderstood
Before I'm alive
After I'm a wreck
Before I'm energetic
After I'm exasted
It wrecks my day
it steals my faith
it binds me and holds me till I can't breath
And no one can see.
No one can see.
Whew, what a masterpiece.
PB: To be fair, that summed up my emotions during maths lessons too! Tell us a bit about your writing process.
AM: I tend to write in a big dump, all at once. Something will capture my attention- an emotion (longing, grief, elation), a sight (a leaf, a sunset, a child), or some other sense. I feel things and try to put them into words; writing is my way of making sense of my mind.
I like to write everything out and create sense of it after.
PB: Tell us the story behind Waiting Spaces.
AM: My family has waited a lot. We moved to Scotland from Canada when I was twelve, and there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding where we would be in the future, whether or not we would be allowed to stay, and the mundane "trying-to-form-friendships" uncertainty. Essentially, a lot of waiting.
Often times, I would retreat to writing to process the emotional flood that came with those events. And I found a pattern- when I choose to let God work, the waiting times have incredible value. I simply need to be open to not rushing in pursuit of permanence.
PB: How would you describe Waiting Spaces to someone who hasn't read it yet?
AM: Waiting Spaces is a journey. We start at the beginning, we explore the longing to belong somewhere, and then we move to the dissatisfaction. Slowly, as we acknowledge those emotions, resting comes. And searching. And healing.
Waiting Spaces is a reminder that uncertain times are not wasted times, and that resting is just as important as working.
Above all, Waiting Spaces is about how God redeems times we deem as unnecessary or worthless.
PB: Of all of your achievements, which are you most proud of?
AM: I'm very proud of Waiting Spaces- but something that stands out was a reviewer who talked about her own issues with anxiety. She said that she had written out one of the poems in Waiting Spaces to keep in her purse so she could go back to it. That touched me more than anything else- the fact that something I wrote resonated so much with someone that they want to have it handy.
PB: Of all the poems you have written, which is the most special for you?
AM: To Cherished Places and New Seasons. I wrote this one while visiting an old home I used to live in.
the horizon and I realize
it’s time to move away.
Sunsets fade and so do memories
revisiting this place means remembering
not only the things that I wish I could forget but also
letting myself see the good.
I’m not sure which hurts worse
never seeing beauty or never forgetting it
never letting it wash over your soul and ease your tired mind or
lying awake every night
wishing that you could go back.
They say that everything comes in time but the longer that you watch a sunset
the more its colours subtly blend and bend and
mend themselves from
one seamless skyline to another.
Soon you can’t tell them apart from each other.
It’s gone and we say
that this explosion of colour
has become less.
Less entrancing, more mess. Something that takes more steps
to find the allure and the
peace and the
Why do we expect big experiences to be the most gratifying?
as this sunset fades
from beauty and fire to the end of the day
in deep hues of blue and small specks of light
it's bittersweet for old days to dim
but this time of night
has its own glory.
PB: Who are your favourite poets?
AM: Levi the Poet is my all-time favourite. I love Maya Angelou, Savvanah Brown, George Elliot, John Donne, and Morgan Harper Nichols as well.
PB: Long term, what are your ambitions with regards to writing?
AM: I have a blog that promotes young writers and explores topics of faith, poetry, travel, and culture. I would love to see that grow and be able to share more young people's work.
Other people are asking if I'll write another book- probably! But there are no definite plans in the works yet.
PB: If you weren't an author, what career would you be in?
AM: I'm training as a nurse! My main career goals will be in nursing with writing as a side career. Ultimately, I want to do whatever God calls me to.
PB: What's the next target for you?
AM: Finishing college and maintaining my writing. I'm writing for Oh Beloved Magazine next year, and we'll see what other projects this year holds.
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
AM: I can't touch my toes. Why? No idea.
Thank you so much to Acacia Mitchell for speaking to us today! You can find more of her work at thoughtsfromatree.com or @acaciawritespoems
Waiting Spaces is currently available at a lowered price to celerate one month since its release. The sale ends tomorrow, so make sure you're quick to claim your copy!
Until next time, keep reading!
All the best,