Local Poet Publishes Book
Sumter Sun, November 22, 2005 by Miles Smith
Shake the crystal globe
Make the snowflakes fall
Conjure a world
Spin a web
Write a poem
Local poet Susan Graves always knew she enjoyed drawing and painting but didn't acquire a taste for writing poetry until about a year ago.
The 56 year old Graves, an Inverness resident who works as community liaison for Access Health Care in Lake Panasoffkee, has published a book of poetry titled: "On Clouds of White Horses" which is due for release Graves said she discovered she enjoyed writing poetry after writing a poem to go along with a picture she painted as a birthday present for her daughter.
"I painted her a picture of Indians and buffalo for her birthday, and she asked me to write a poem about it," Graves said.
"My daughter sent the poem in to a contest and it won."
Intrigued by her unexpected success, Graves continued to put her thoughts into poetry.Soon after discovering her new found talent, she wrote a series of Indian poetry honoring her family heritage which placed third in a national poetry contest.
Graves said she often writes poems about things that come to her in dreams. When she awakes, she often speaks into a tape recorder about what she dreamt so that she can put it into writing if she desires.
The method has helped Graves write a variety of free verse poems on subjects such as war, crime, past experiences and mythological creatures such as dragons, gargoyles and storm falcons.
"I think poetry is an expression of my emotional feelings," Graves said. "I like to paint a picture and use lots of imagery. Even in a poem you can draw people in and make them feel it."
Graves said her life's experiences also have helped power her poetry writing. "I call myself a 'has been' because I have been everything," Graves said. "I've worked as a cop, a firefighter, I've taught karate and I've been a military wife."
The poetry collection will not be the first time Graves' work has been published.Two short stories she wrote while in college were printed in a short story collection titled "Thursdays Child."
Graves said she is planning to write a second book of poetry and has aspirations of eventually publishing a novel.She also has written and illistrated children's books that have not yet been published.
"I'm going in different directions," she said.
"On Clouds of White Horses" will be published by Publish America.