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Happy National Poetry Month! It’s day 20 and there’s only 10 more days to go. How are my NaPoWriMo’s doing? Anyways, let’s welcome today’s interviewee Antonia Kilday!:

What was the first poem you’ve ever read?
I have always loved Dr. Seuss and his work was probably the first poetry I was exposed to but of the first poems I can remember reading, I think it was out of Shel Silverstein‘s book, Where the Sidewalk Ends. I love rhyming poetry.

How has poetry influenced you as a person? Or as a writer?
I always loved writing, but  I remember first learning about poetry in 9th grade. I’ve always been a pensive person but I never had an outlet and I’m not one for sharing my deepest feelings with many people. We got our first assignment and that’s when I learned that poetry was my best friend. As a person, poetry has helped me see my growth, trust myself, and clear my heart/mind to free me and show others they’re not alone in their feelings. As a writer, poetry has made me brave. It’s creative and flexible nature tells me there’s room for me, him, her, them to write our beliefs and experiences without fear of being judged.

In your opinion, what makes a poorly written poem?
There are poems I don’t like. Poems that I don’t think should even be considered a poem. There are poems with bad grammar and misspellings. Everyone writes for different reasons and I will never be the person that tells someone their poem is poor because I didn’t like it. But if I read a poem with poor grammar or spelling, then I won’t get past the first error. I’ll move on immediately.

How would you persuade a non reader to read poetry?
I would explain it much like I do when I explain listening to country music. Poetry speaks to you. It’s about you and your relationships, your kids, your religion, your problems, your joys, your pets, your childhood, the moments when you contemplate your purpose, and the sway of a field of tulips in the breeze. Poetry can help give you perspective, offer up a good laugh, it can cry with you, and it can give you a hug when you need it.

Is poetry useful?
Yes. Poetry can build a foundation of loving to read in children. Poetry can heal broken hearts and even mend hurts. Poetry can memorialize and commemorate. Poetry can uplift. Poetry can walk along side you. Poetry is music.

Bonus Antonia shares with us today a poem she wrote:


These roots grow up through clay and rocks
Twisting their thin white bodies between my toes
Like a snare where I stand; they’re my freedom
My faith in myself, my thorny rose

She severs my binds and laughs with me
And we discover that oranges taste like the sun
That insects are cool and the clouds are like magic
She infuses my life; I’m audacious and fun

A break in the road begs decision
I’m always afraid I’m not right
But then they tickle my toes and she looks at me
And I’m a compass, an owl, the strongest one in the fight

She’s destined to be my ephemeral treasure
Leaving anguish and sunlight as she goes on her way
She’s my soul taking leave to roam the world
My love from her birth and my pride every day
© 2015 Antonia Kilday

Inspired in 9th grade by a life and literature loving teacher, I wrote my first poem as a class assignment. That assignment was the catalyst that ignited my passion for writing poetry. In high school and college, I wrote for the literary magazine and continued writing throughout my military career.  In August 2013, I released my first book of poetry titled Love like Fall. I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, daughter, and mini zoo of pets. You can follow Antonia:
Facebook: Bleeding Poetry
Twitter: @AntoniaKilday
Author site:


30 Days of Poetry Love with Antonia Kilday

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