Amy Turn Sharp Embraces Creativity Through Poetry
Amy Turn Sharp is a lot of things. She’s a wild woman and a world traveler. She’s a wife, a mother to three young sons, a copywriter and a social media maven. She’s the “wood queen” of her boutique wooden toy company, Little Alouette. The toys can be found in Whole Foods stores throughout Ohio. Oh, and she’s a poet. A prolific one.
“I can write a lot of poems,” she says. She wrote poems for years, even though she dabbled in other types of writing.
“I feel like I always thought I was a writer and I was always writing poems since I was a kid,” she says. “In high school and college, I was really into poetry but I was also writing essays. And my essays were always weirdly free verse. They were like poems sometimes. I’d written a novel. Even my novel is like a big poem.”
But she kept writing poetry. She filled moleskins. “Something clicked a few years ago,” she says. “I thought, ‘Why am I not sharing these poems?'” She shared a few here and there on doobleh-vay.com, her personal blog, which documented her family life and the beginnings of Little Alouette. That “a-ha” moment gave her the idea that led to her most productive year.
“Something came to me one day and I was like, ‘I’m going to write poems and I’m going to do it every day and maybe I’ll expel it,'” she says. In 2012, that’s what she did: Amy Turn Sharp wrote a poem a day. She didn’t wait around for the mood to hit or for inspiration to strike. “I believe in muse, but I don’t believe I have to sit around and wait to be inspired. I have three children and I choose to stay up late or get up early or write on the bus.” Some of the poems were written on napkins or envelopes on the fly. “Some of them suck,” she says. But that didn’t stop her from writing them. Or sharing them.
She posted them on a new blog, amyturnsharp.com, and on Facebook and Twitter. It caught on, and she gained an impressive following. Her “365 Project,” as she calls it, was featured in Ladies Home Journal and Motherlode magazines. “It got some good buzz,” she says. It also inspired others. A few people started their own poem-a-day projects. And people started sending her their poems, or quick notes of appreciation.
“The most exciting thing for me is when I get an email from the internet and they’re like, ‘I sent your poem to my boyfriend.’ I’m in my kitchen, dancing in my underwear, because I’m so happy that someone used my poem to convey some emotion to someone else. That’s what I did. When I was a kid and in high school and college, I would send poems to people.”
“There are people like me in the world and that super excites me,” she says. “That I can find them on the internet.”
The internet has played an important role in her writing life, certainly. It’s not only where she presents her work, but it’s also how she connects with other writers. And readers. Although this year, she’s stepping out of the internet and into Columbus.
“Columbus already has a lot of poetry, but I’m just now letting myself get into the circles,” she says.
When she was asked to read at the March 2013 Motive Mondays event at Brothers Drake Meadery in the Short North, it made her want to be braver. She stood on stage that night and read her poems to an engrossed room. She told the audience, “If you like poetry, you will get laid.” She encouraged people to embrace their creativity; to be the poets she knows they can be.
And she’s doing it all again on Tuesday, October 22nd at Brothers Drake. As host and featured reader, Amy Turn Sharp is gathering a small collection of local writers to share their work along with her. The evening is the first in a possible ongoing series that includes open mic time, because she believes in nurturing writers.
“I want to be a poet mentor,” she says. “I just want to be here for the people.”
Looking ahead at her writing life, Amy Turn Sharp has plans for more poems. “I would love to publish a book,” she says. Although many of her poems have already been published online, she respects traditional publishing and is starting to revise and send out some of the poems from her extensive body of work. The publication process can be daunting, though. “Terrifying,” she calls it. She’s glad to have so much support from her local community.
“Maybe my social life needs to be more literary than tavern-y in my late 30s,” she laughs.
With the help of Brothers Drake, it looks like it can be a little of both.
Photo courtesy Amy Turn Sharp.
Amy Turn Sharp will be presenting poetry alongside others at Brothers Drake Meadery on Tuesday, October, 22, 2013. For more information visit AmyTurnSharp.com.