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Happy National Poetry Month! It’s the final day of poetry month as wells as Poem in Your Pocket Day. As for my final interviewee, I have fellow blogger and SheWrites member, Shelah Maul.

Shelah has just gotten back from some serious edits of her book by her agent. Once those first round of edits were done, she contacted me with her answers. And asked for the April 30th slot. Of course I was all, ‘hell yeah!’ And now here I am, with my full roster of 30 poets and 30 interviews.

Now that I’ve reached the end, I hope my little blog project was a source of inspiration for you. That it has inspired you to read a little more poetry. Maybe even introduced some new poets to follow. I’m definitely going to read more of Rumi. Or to write a little more poetry. And that the 30 days of poetry love has ignited a passion for poetry all year long.:

Merriam Webster defines poetry as ‘the productions of a poet’. And as a ‘writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.’ But in your own words, how would you define poetry?
I define poetry as a medium of expression through which abstract ideas, personal experiences, insights, spiritual struggles, honest observations, and authentic questions are presented to the reader by way of metaphors, similes, and comparisons. Poetry is about mindfulness, capturing the subtle nuances of life on paper, connecting one thing to another, defining esoteric ideas in the concrete, physical world, and the exploration of what life is at its deepest level.

Do you believe poetry matters? Why?
I think poetry is so important because it provides an outlet through which people can share their emotional and subjective experiences in response to the physical realm of existence we all have in common. There is the physical sunset, but poetry captures the internal reaction, response, and emotion uniquely owned by the individual when looking at it. From this perspective we all experience and carry a different version of the same sunset. The sharing of these perspectives makes our collective experience of life deeper and richer.

Who is your favorite poet and why?
Right now, I’m very much into Rumi. I can’t say I understand his intended meaning of everything he writes, but I’m drawn to the mysticism. I’ve always loved a good mystery so I enjoy searching for clues in his poetry that reveal hidden insights about life and spirituality.

Name one poet you wished more people knew about and why.
A poet that is somewhat new on the scene I enjoy is Billy Collins, author of “Aimless Love.”

Explain your poetry writing process.
I wouldn’t say I’m particularly a poet as much as I appreciate poetry. But I have found myself at times moved with an emotion that longs for expression. While at this point in my life I tend to gravitate towards poetry charged with a more positive or uplifting emotion, I wrote a book full of poetry in my early 20s that explored a vast array of emotions typical with coming of age angst. This is a poem I wrote about the superficiality I felt in dating relationships at that point in my life, where guys are very focused on outward appearance vs. really getting to know who someone is on the inside.

Bonus Shelah shares with us the poem she just mentioned:


Pain in realizing I’m not known
Fragments never seen though shown
Painting pictures, beautiful me
Betraying all you say you see

Swearing by goodness what is true
You drank the earth, the morning dew
Tasting sweetness of young flesh
Sipping nectar from the root

Gazing, gasping, vibrant light
Fading embers, blackness, night
Clutches release ever slowly
Fingers slip, never knowing

–Copyright 2006 Shelah L. Maul ©

Shelah L. Maul is a speech/language pathologist, writer, wife, reiki practitioner, nature lover, health foodie, and curious investigator of life. She blogs at The Open Jar about spirituality, culture, relationships and women’s issues ( and stops by Facebook now and again ( to post pretty quote pictures.
Shelah’s first major literary work is a memoir she wrote for her friend, Zenab Ibrahim. Their debut work of nonfiction, Hausa Blues is currently under representation with Laura Yorke at the Carol Mann Agency. Learn more at

30 Days of Poetry Love with Shelah Maul

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