Christy Birmingham is a poet and the author of Pathways to Illumination. PI gives an intimate look at an abusive relationship from the beginning all the way
healing. Today Ms. Birmingham is here to shed some light on herself and PI. Sit
back and relax while we chat.
Welcome Christy, it is a pleasure to have you here with us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi Laurie, thanks for having me here for a visit!
I am proud to introduce myself today, which is a different feeling than I had a few years ago. Back then, I was deeply ashamed of myself. Today I am healthy and live in British Columbia, Canada as a freelance writer, author and poet.
I love to write, whether it is a poem or a content article. Some of my favorite moments in the day are the ones when my fingers fly with intention across the keyboard. Outside of writing, I enjoy going for walks in the beautiful nature of Canada’s west coast. I am very close to my parents too.
Can you tell me how old you were when you first began writing poetry?
I was in elementary school. I had my first poem published around that time, and I was ecstatic. In high school, I took a writing class and Advanced Placement English. My teachers, including Mr. and Mrs. Stenson, encouraged me to write creatively. I wrote poetry and had a short story published in The Claremont Review.
Do you edit your poetry?
I usually do, although not always. I write some of my poetry in ‘free write’ form, which means I write continuously without allowing myself to go back to edit lines or stop mid-sentence. I rarely edit those ones later.
I didn’t start doing deep edits of my poetry until last year. I realized that when I ‘shelved’ a poem, or put it away for a time, that when I returned to it I saw ways to improve it. I enjoy creating images that appeal to the readers’ senses. When I edit, I am able to strengthen the images. I can also modify punctuation and line breaks to improve the flow of the piece.
In the book’s introduction, you tell the reader that PI is loosely based on your own experiences. Would you mind telling us a bit more about that and the reasons that you wrote PI?
The book is not a memoir, although I had a reader mistakenly think that. Instead, the poetic journey of the woman in the book ties loosely to my past. I went through a period of depression during and after an unhealthy relationship that was verbally abusive, amongst other issues. After I tried to take my own life, family members swept me into therapy.
I began to journal, at my therapist’s suggestion, as a way to work through my troubled feelings. I began to write poetry, in addition to the journaling activity. I had not written poems in years. As I wrote more, I began to see the poems as the basis for a future collection to publish. I began to realize I was not alone in my feelings of depression following abuse, and hoped to help others who read my healing words.
Who should read PI?
The intended reader is adult as the serious issues might disturb a younger audience. I originally wrote the book to help women who suffer from abuse, depression, and/or low confidence. Male readers have sent me notes to say they have found the read helped them too. I want the book to motivate readers, especially people questioning whether there hope exists in the future. There are hopeful notes throughout the book.
Is there a message that you want readers to get from PI?
I want readers to understand that while life is not easy, it is absolutely worth the struggles. I once thought I would not see a tomorrow. Today I am so thankful to be alive. I want readers to say to themselves, ‘hey this woman survived a horrific situation, and I can get through my stuff too.’ I want the reader to smile at the thought of a brighter day.
Thank you Christy it was a pleasure to have you.
Pathwaysto Illumination is available from Redmund Productions in PDF, kindle, mobile and paperback formats. Be sure to visit Christy at her blog Poetic Parfait and connect with her on Twitter.
Until next time, enjoy the day and read an amazing book. Stay tuned for the review. Thank you for sharing this post with the hashtags #poetry #authors #interviews.