Writing for women

Writing for women

Observer writer

Monday, July 06, 2020

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Fledgling writer Martin Robinson is looking to encourage women through The Eraser— The Story Of A Hard Gyal Fi Dead , his first poetry collection.

“When I hit a thousand copies that would have surpassed my goal for the project. But my most important hope is for women to not just see poetry but to be empowered; to read it and know that someone sees you, someone understands what you are going through, understanding that this is the blueprint on how to spot a manipulator, how to handle one, how to break free from one and I hope it also serves as a reminder to every woman that you are beautiful, you're special, you are enough, and you deserve better. That right there is the ultimate goal,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

The 20-year-old— who majors in journalism and minors in political science at the University of the West Indies, Mona — has been selling electronic versions of his 10-poem piece since last Thursday.

So far, he has moved 20 copies and hopes to get it published.

Based on a true story, the collection speaks to a woman who has faced severe difficulties but thrives in the face of adversity.

The former Jonathan Grant and Eltham High schools student revealed that he realised his passion for literature in 2012. However, he did not put pen to paper until 2015.

“I was always writing musical lyrics. At the time there was a studio beside my house, and I was always there because I enjoyed the lyrics. But in 2015 when I started reading A World of Poetry for literature class, that's when I noticed I wanted to do poetry. I was amazed by the play on words and the other devices they used, and the imagery always stood out to me. Then, I wanted to start reading more so I started reading on Wattpad, it was a big thing in 2015. Afterwards, I said, 'let's try this',” he noted.

Robinson looks up to writers like Ezekiel Ozunwo, Jackie Hill-Perry, Joseph Solomon, William Shakespeare, Rudy Francisco, Chris Webb, Leonardo da Vinci, King Solomon from the Bible, Martin Carter, and Derek Walcott.

He has a favourite piece from his collection.

The Apology [because] it brings to light all the ways we've used women and then it goes on to counter all the arguments about women being the weaker sex, and only valued by their abilities, bodies, and so on. To me, it is the ultimate empowering and emotional piece in the collection,” said Robinson.

Although he managed to complete 'The Eraser' after two months, Robinson admits it was challenging to write from a woman's perspective.

“It was hard. I see women as sacred beings and a lot of their issues are unique and as men we honestly cannot relate to the form of manipulation nor the abuse or how they cope with it, so I had to tread carefully to not become 'that' guy who acts like he knows what women experience but really doesn't. So I had to reach out to a lot of women who were okay with telling me their detailed experience of what happened and how they felt when they encountered a manipulator. Then, I had to rephrase those experiences,” he added.

Robinson has big dreams.

“In the next five years I will be teaching spoken word poetry. I will have written my second book and be aiding in ensuring '876 Poetry', which is the creative organisation I am affiliated with, is hosting large poetry shows.”

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