Award winning poet to speak at GSU

Sandra Beasley

Alia Lewis

If you examine award winning writer Sandra Beasley’s life, you will understand what it means to follow your heart and chase your dreams.

Sandra Beasley, poet and non-fiction author fell in love with poetry and will share her passion with students tomorrow night during a poetry reading.

Beasley, who has been exposed to the poetry and arts since she was a child, said “[I] fell in love with language and taking something from real world and making it come to life on page” Beasley said.

Beasley said she read wonderful poets early on and attended poetry workshops in elementary school. Because of her exposure to literature and deep passion for it, she knew that someday she wanted to make a career through writing.

Because of doubts and experiences, Beasley understands first-hand the importance of persistence when chasing a dream.

“There is no one moment that tells you you’re going to be a poet. It’s about how you respond to the thousand moments that say you’re not a poet,” Beasley said.

Beasley followed her dreams and consequently has received numerous awards for her poetry books “Theories of Falling,” “I Was the Jukebox” and her most recent non-fiction book “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life.” The books have also been featured in the Oxford American, Washington Post Magazine, New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today.

Beasley said she believes that students who dislike poetry or find it uninteresting are reading the wrong stuff. Poetry that makes the reader feel stupid is a sign that the poet has let the reader down.

Beasley’s current and first non-fiction book “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life” reveals the story of Beasley growing up and living with multiple life threatening food allergies in college and adult life. Beasley said she wants people to know that her book is not a generic guide to food allergies.

“I wanted to write a memoir not a manual,” Beasley said.

Currently, the author is working on another book of poems entitled “Count the Waves,” which will be available in 2015. The poems are about travel, adult love, and what it means to make commitments later in life. “None in the Same Room: Poems from The Traveler’s Vade Mecum,” a poem which will be featured in “Count the Waves,” has already won the 2013 Center for Book Arts Chapman competition.

Beasley encourages all students regardless of their discipline or background to attend the poetry reading.

“Poetry can provide a way of seeing the world that is transformative and fun,” Beasley said.

Students can hear Beasley in action Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in room 1005 of the IT Building. Admission is free.