Author: J. Autherine
J. Autherine’s inaugural collection of poems and inspiration is a love offering to strong, vulnerable, badass women who lead with their hearts, love deeply and sometimes fall hard. Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is a deep, gritty, raw look at the thrill of loving unconditionally, as well as the mental and physical toll that it takes when peace and harmony are lost in the process. The author draws inspirations from her own journey spanning 30 years, and also dives deeply into the vulnerable hearts of women globally, including her experience growing up in Jamaica. She captures the pain and struggle of women who love deeply and pour into others without first filling their own jars.
A reoccurring theme is reclaiming your heart in order to live and love harmoniously. Chapter 1, Wild Heart, takes the reader on a journey of self discovery — being an empath in a sometimes harsh world, feeling broken after losing love, not feeling good enough to be loved, facing rejection and abandonment, and navigating life with a heart that just wants to love unconditionally. The second chapter, Peaceful Soul, is an empowering meditation on the peace that comes with reclaiming your heart — finding strength in the love and support of sister friends, practicing self-love while responsibly loving others, and finding joy in loving those that are worthy of our love.
Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is a patchwork of vulnerability, truth and empowerment for everyone who loves deeply.
As a child in Jamaica, I spent a lot of time memorizing verses both in church and in school (songs, poems, written word). A child was considered very bright if she was able to memorize a long passage, and boldly walk on stage to recite it as friends and family cheered. As a rather shy introvert, I couldn’t pull off recitation without feeling on the verge of a breakdown but I loved poetry and in my mind, I was on stage acting out every verse.
The first traditional poem that I remember memorizing was, “I Wonder Why the Grass is Green” by Jennie Kirby. After moving to the United States, I started reading everything that I could find by great authors, such as Dr. Maya Angelou. I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing touched me deeply and is still one of my favorite books. I believe that was when I started transitioning from writing about my day in my diary to writing free form poetry.
Books by Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison also sparked my love for issues that are close to the heart of women. I soon found that I was most excited to write when a “heart” issue was involved. Since, I lead with my heart in almost every circumstance, thankfully, the inspiration came often.
THE HEART’S JOURNEY
Years from now when I read my poetry,
I may be embarrassed,
I may not recognize myself,
But I will never be ashamed of my heart’s journey;
of the loving,
of the giving,
of the kindness,
of the pain.
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope that you have the freedom to let your heart run as wild as it can without sacrificing the peace that your soul needs. Thank you for supporting Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul. May your heart run wild but always find a peaceful way back home.
INTERVIEWS AND FEATURES
Interview with Poehemien Poetry founder, Eva Zen, about the passion for poetry that led to writing, Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul. “Books by Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison also sparked my love for issues that are close to the heart of women. As women, we spend our lives caring for others and putting the needs of others first. This often comes at a cost to our emotional and physical health and well-being and Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul doesn’t shy away from the tough issues.”
African American Poet Releases New Book With Poems That Explore the Heart of Today’s Woman. BlackNews.com “Heartbreak, rejection, abandonment are universal struggles, even though they may cause us to feel alone,” says Autherine. “Regardless of how others may have treated us in the past, we are worthy of love. We are not alone; our friends are facing very similar struggles. We have to love ourselves enough to allow those past hurts to heal, so that we can live and love in a physically and emotionally healthy way.”
"Live boldly! Embrace all that you are! Embrace your journey! You can be both strong and vulnerable at the same time. Most importantly, care for your mind, body, heart and your soul because it is difficult to live your best life unless you are in a healthy place physically and emotionally." J. Autherine
Strong Sisters Unite - “was inspired by women of color who, in addition to the normal struggles that women face, are also faced with racial discrimination, stereotyped as sassy and difficult to get along with, considered the fixer/healer/organizer of our relationship our churches and our society, being called hurtful names in songs that should be uplifting our sisters, mothers and daughters. We are not allowed to be vulnerable and display a variety of human emotions, such as pain and anger. We have been increasingly weighed down by the fear of losing our sons to violence and police brutality because they are not allowed to be children and not seen as humans. We say an extra prayer for our husbands, brothers and sons when they leave the house. The time to exhale will not be given to us; we have to take it and care for ourselves (meditation, counseling, support groups, spa days, sister circles), care for each other so that we can care for our children and change our society.”
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
There is a poem titled, The Princess Takes the High Road.
With a clear vision, she wrote her own ending. “The princess bravely scaled the walls of the castle. As she rose to the top, she created a path for the other young ladies who would follow and placed a beacon on the top of the castle to light their path. The End.”
It is about taking control of your journey and writing your own story. We all get to a point in lives when we no longer want to be defined by others and we are ready to create our own footprints in the sand. That is where I am in my journey and I am blessed to be able to share my stories with readers.