Soapbox Spotlight: Trinka Polite
Thank you for joining us! Today’s Spotlight is on Trinka Polite, poetess and spiritualist. Poetry, as my readers know, is a subject close to my heart, as my bestie and fellow author J. Mahogany and I got our start as authors. Ms. Polite, of course, has written a compilation called After the Sixth Day that she is here to talk with us about. An excerpt of her beautiful poetry can be found at the end of this segment. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself, Trinka.
I’m from Worth County, Georgia. I still live in the area to be close to family and because I love the beautiful South! My passions include cooking, dancing, traveling, reading, spending time with family, and of course poetry. I attended Valdosta State University and completed my Master’s in Psychology at the University of West Georgia.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always had an interest in reading. I never set out to be a poet or a writer. Poetry found me, so to speak. In those moments of deep emotion, sometimes I struggled to find and speak the right words. Thankfully, the words of my spirit gave me understanding and meaning. I wrote them down and here I am.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was a teenager. However, I wasn’t writing [with the intention] to one day release a book. I wrote as an attempt to explain things happening in my life and in the world around me. That’s probably true for many writers.
It certainly was for me, especially when it comes to prose. Did writing this new book teach you anything and what was it?
I definitely learned patience. Writing and publishing a book should not be rushed. It’s an emotional process. Therefore, if you begin to feel overwhelmed, put the book down and walk away. Come back later when you’ve had time to breathe and relax. However, the most important thing this new book taught me is that writing is my passion. I didn’t know it until I started. I’m so grateful that I did!
I definitely learned that lesson the hard way! So, tell us about your latest work.
It is a collection of poetry that chronicles the experience of one spirit’s journey through this world so far. Whether it’s from my personal life or as a witness to others’ lives, the poems address various experiences and emotions that we all face. The message of the book is that through interaction with the world, the spirit is tested, awakened and strengthened. In the end, we discover that every experience is needed to tell the story of our spiritual journey. Below, I share one of my favorite poems from After the Sixth Day–“Breathing Lessons”.
What do you love about independent publishing?
I love that I don’t have to compromise my goals as a writer. Being able to move at my own comfortable pace has been a blessing, and it has allowed me to learn more about the publishing process. I also love that I was able to share my poetry in its “raw” form without my voice being altered.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
The hardest part about compiling this book was knowing that I had to let it go. I know that probably seems odd since people write with an audience in mind. I think because it’s my first book that I was a little nervous.
I think that nervousness is typical for most of us on the first one. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, and it’s also in my introduction. Never feel bad about or dismiss any of your life experiences. In the moment, you may not realize it, but there is a blessing in the journey.
What do you look for in a cover?
As a reader, I look for a cover that begins to tell the story before the book is opened. If the author took the time to develop a cover, I’m trying to determine how the title relates to the cover. Of course, this influenced my cover choice. After the Sixth Day: Notes from a Spiritual Journey is presented as more or less a “diary.” Therefore, the cover’s inspiration is one of my personal leather bound journals.
What books have most influenced your life?
*Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (This book had a strong impact on me as a child. I’ve never forgotten it.)
*Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie by Maya Angelou
*The Color Purple by Alice Walker
*The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
I’ll include The Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Souljah just because it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read!
I saw a couple of my favorites in there! What projects can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on a follow-up to After the Sixth Day. In this first edition, I share just the poetry. The next book will be a smaller poetry collection that includes the inspirational story for each. For the third project, I have a novel in the works–still researching. So please stay connected.
Sounds incredible! Thank you for joining us, Trinka! Here is a sample of from Trinka’s book After the Sixth Day:
Pulsating through my chest and out my nose–
that’s the way my life flows. In and out is each breath
I take serving as a sign of life when I’m sleep and when I’m awake.
Pull it in deep and then blow real hard.
Keep that pace going and fill it in your heart.
Keep your mind clear and your soul at ease
when you follow the breathing lessons I’m trying to teach.
Do it in the car and when you’re at work.
Do it when you’re feeling good and when it really hurts.
Take it in now as much as you can.
Touch your chest and feel it expand.
Our skin starts to tingle as life flows through–
as breath makes it way over me and you.
Close your eyes and focus on the sensation.
Take a minute to meditate and send your mind on vacation.
Lessons in breathing take you beyond–
signaling fear and increasing during fun.
I didn’t always know how to breathe.
I would take a deep gasp and hold it inside of me.
I would restrict its power and my chest would get tight.
This is what happens when your breathing is not right.
This is what happens when you stop life’s flow instead
of relaxing and letting it go.
Now breathe because you have no choice.
It’s your way of speaking when you have no voice.
Show some indication that you are alive.
Take a deep breath and see how you strive.
My grandmother breathed easy without much care.
She moved through life like she was floating on air.
I didn’t know she was giving me a breathing lesson-
lips barely parted with her hands folded and rested.
Exemplifying the ease at which it takes
to quiet doubts and mend the breaks.
My other grandmother told me that’s how I came to be.
God took my body and in it He breathed.
So when you inhale and exhale notice your breath,
and realize God is dwelling in your chest.
Lessons in breathing tell us that in the end,
we take one last breath and our souls fly away on the wind.
(Trinka Polite, 2012. All rights reserved.)
Reprinted with permission from the author.
You can find Trinka at the following links:
You can find Trinka’s book at the following links: