BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Gissel Grizzle has been writing poetry since she was a teenager.
Now 27 years old and with a self-published poetry book titled “Untold Verses,” Grizzle said she remembers writing her first poem at 14.
“I didn’t even know that I was writing poetry at the time,” she said.
Grizzle said she has written songs and short stories, but poetry has always been her favorite.
“Poetry has my heart,” the Bridgeport resident said.
Grizzle graduated from Housatonic Community College with a dual major in human services and general studies. She always knew she would one day publish a book, but she felt a serious pressure to have something published after she noticed a lot of trauma surrounding her life.
“After different traumatic events that happened — seeing people around me getting murdered, getting in car accidents, or having some sort of fatal illness take their life — I had, sort of, a fear or paranoia that I needed to get something out there,” Grizzle said. “I was thinking, if I die today, what would I have left behind?”
Initially, Grizzle said she wrote a book about 30 pages in length early last year that she was prepared to publish and release.
“I took a little break and realized I wasn’t ready to release it because I didn’t give it my all,” Grizzle said. “I knew I had more to offer than 30 pages.”
Grizzle said her book, which celebrates its one-year anniversary of being published this coming September, covers several themes. She said the most important theme is self-love.
“There’s family dysfunction, domestic violence and how to love yourself after all of that has happened,” Grizzle said. “It’s meant to inspire other people to get out of their darkest moments and to utilize those moments to turn it into something that’s productive and beautiful.”
She said “Untold Verses” tells her story in the form of poetry, with other musings that are unrelated to her life that she thought were important themes to touch upon.
“Hopefully, with sharing my story, I can encourage other people to share their story as well,” Grizzle said.
Grizzle also sells t-shirts with quotes from her book that she said vary from inspirational to funny. She said she’s working on her second book, which she hopes to release within the next month or two.
“This one, it’s different,” she said. “It talks about relationships, sexuality and self-love again. But it’s more so about sexuality, about liberating yourself though whatever sexuality you identify as.”
She encouraged anyone looking to start writing poetry to always have a hard copy of their work and to embrace their quirks.
“Be yourself, be unique, be creative, be wild, be free,” Grizzle said. “Be whoever you want to be. Don’t ever settle for being ordinary.”
Information from: Connecticut Post, www.ctpost.com