I first “met” Salaam while perusing around another friends FB page. I was instantly drawn to Salaam’s page. She literally looked like poetry to me and I just had to get to know her. That one move altered everything, because Salaam is the true definition of a woman with a plan. She is poetry, but she is also business and just like Scarlett she is a member of the Glitter Tribe, really she’s the founder, because she brought us altogether. Please read some words of wisdom from my sweet friend Salaam,
(Lindsey Culver Photography)
I want all women and girls to be bold and to live a courageous honest life full of vigor and vulnerability and be who they were created to be unapologetically; to rise, fight, and love with abandon.
Describe your journey to founding the Literary Healing Arts Foundation.
The Journey to me starting the Literary Healing Arts Foundation and Services is one I am still on and suspect will always.
I honestly can’t remember the instance that I knew what I was starting. I joined CO-STARTERS and went through the process of connecting my story with my passion and gifting’s.
And I just jumped and followed guidelines in CO-STARTERS impatiently.
I started with a totally different idea. Along the journey I realized that I did not see what I needed so I decided to create it. A service that offers healing through the power of words and writing for those suffering and in need of healing in any form.
How would you describe your writing process? Are you inspired by certain topics or experience?
Geez….my writing process. I did not grow up a writer and I don’t have a long history of writing. However, I always knew I wanted to be a writer and feel this is what I am born to do. I have been going to Women Writing for a Change, which is a writing group in Birmingham. I began writing with this group maybe 5 or 6 years ago. When I am in class, I write and when I am not I rarely do. If I write its on napkins, and the notes on my phone. I think inspiration is overrated. When I have the writing spirit I am on fire. When I have the poetry spirit I dream and I can barely shower without a poem coming through. I often have to stop on the side of the road while driving because a poem is trying to come through. On the flip side when its not there it isn’t. I have had poetry shows and presentations to do and walked in with nothing, none of the writing I had done resonates; I have literally wrote pieces minutes before I was to read or present.
I honestly wish I wasn’t this way; I am an educator by training with a graduate degree in Early Childhood Education and an undergrad degree in English; I have spent most of my life in corporate America and researching, planning, and fleshing out processes has been my mantra as a supervisor. However, as a poet and writer it comes when it comes for me and I rarely have time to edit or re-work a poem. I am always amazed when I hear people say that. I hope to get there one day.
What are some quotes or phrases that inspire you?
I am a words geek….I love words, words, and more words. I have inspirational quotes all around me. As for my favorite I can’t pick one it changes based on my mood. Right now….I love the Audra Lord quote, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own”.
Get to know people for yourself
There is always more than one way to skin a cat
Rules, What Rules
Go through in order to Get to
Investigate your own solutions so you won’t inherit someone else’s problems.
Stop peeking in other peoples presents, don’t open up your gifts until Christmas Morning.
These quotes are what I use or often find my self saying often. But I have a million I always have a quote either made up or found from someone else…
What has been the most rewarding thing about starting the foundation? What has been the most challenging thing?
The most rewarding thing has been crafting Write to Heal events and watching how promoting the healing power of words supports women to use their voice to heal their lives.
The most challenging has by far been; I don’t know what I am doing? I really feel a lot of what I am doing has been purposed and the Holy Spirit is the author rather than me so I have a hard time not following the secular viewpoints on business. Because let’s just be honest, we all won’t to be famous even though we really don’t we do…I am an introvert so putting myself out there and doing the things I am doing such as networking, meeting new people, and performing poetry. It’s very challenging especially because I am very hard on myself; just when I began to begin to set up my business I lost my job and I have been just doing it without resources I thought I needed to begin.
How did you find out that you were a writer? What does being a writer mean to you? What has writing given you?
I was born to write; before I remember writing creatively etc. I always said when I grow up I am going to be a writer as early as Kindergarten. I believe my experiences and early trauma led me to words to survive and cultivated the writer that was already in me.
Writing to me; oh my gosh…it is everything. The most powerful force is seeing your words on paper come to life and breath life into the lives of another person. Writing is my best friend, for the darkest times in my life it was my only friend.
Writing has given me my life back it has given me my sanity and my will to live. I am so proud of myself and I finally after 40 years have fallen in love with myself and am following my purpose with vulnerability, truth, and strength. And for that I owe writing. I pen my writing Black Belt Dialect Poetry and Prose since I am from that region and evoke rural landscapes and imagery in my words. I want all women and girls to be bold and to live a courageous honest life full of vigor and vulnerability and be who they were created to be unapologetically; to rise, fight, and love with abandon.
What’s the most powerful piece you’ve ever written and why?
I have yet to write my most powerful piece I will, of course, write the next greatest American novel. I am in love with a poem entitled “My mama tried to tell me-which I recently read at 100,000 poets for change, it makes me sad but I am proud that I am living my truth and being honest with my work…I write to heal and my words and voice is to support others to know how to handle hate and hurts. My pieces are often times loud and uncomfortable or loud and humorous but I strive to be raw and never sugar coat the truth. I don’t have a poetry education background or an MFA etc. so I often ask myself am I a real poet will I be respected in poetry circles. I come to the conclusion I am a poet damn it and I can and will be great wherever and with whomever I go.
What’s the most powerful piece you’ve ever read and why?
The most powerful piece I have ever read is The Souls of Black Folk by W.E. Dubois… it is evolutionary in it’s tense and it is transcendent. The connation of the text presupposes today. Its sociology constructs and ideas hit me when I read it in my African American Literature class.
What does the foundation offer to the public and where can we find out more about you and the foundation?
The Literary Healing Arts Foundation & Services is a for profit service that promotes the healing power of words through seminars, workshops, community events, and creativity coaching. These services include poetry, writing, journal arts to support expression of one’s voice. What sets Literary Healing Arts apart and my services is I healed through the power of words; poetry saved my life. I want to take these principles that I used to heal my life and begin to use my voice after over 10 years of being emotionally abused to support others in moving into their purpose and healing their souls.
I provide these services for business, organizations, individuals, and groups to enhance creativity and write to heal.
My personal motto for the Literary Healing Arts Foundation & Services is that my words will reach the world for women and girls who go unheard. I am on that mission and that is the systemic change I am building that is bigger than myself and is spirit driven my why I was put here and the legacy I will leave along with books and poetry…..I also love supporting women I found Sisters in Support (S.I.S.) supporting women in business and with entrepreneur visions to have a safe space to write, speak, and get non-competive collaboration so healing voices are included in the business and entrepreneurial world.
To invite me out to speak or plan a Write to Heal or Write to Beauty event email or call me @email@example.com; 334-507-2845
To hear more about events and services go to www.literaryhealingarts.com and sign up for emails. The fastest way to get in touch with me a grassroots entrepreneur is email and call and I more than happy to discuss services and I can customize services to meet your individual, community, organization, or business needs.
I know firsthand how powerful her events are. I had the privilege to speak at Salaam’s first Write to Heal and went to another event this past Saturday. Salaam has a way of making the women that attend these workshops free to truly be themselves. Please support her and her efforts, you will not be disappointed!