E.V. Frapiere is the author of the new book Through My Mother's Voice, I Found My Own: Inspiring Poems, Prose, and Reflections from the Middle.
Q: In the book, you note that your writing provided solace after your mother's death. In what ways did writing help you?
A: I never imagined the feeling of “heartache” until the loss of my mother in 2013. In fact, for the first time in my adult life, though, I am ashamed to admit, "I was angry with God. Why my mother?" Months would pass by and I continue to pray to God for answers as my heart pined away at the question, "Why my mother?"
Finally, the answers would be revealed to me, but not without a price with clear instructions: "Write down all the findings that your heart desires." So, pen to paper, I would begin to write out my life blessings, which revolved around family, hope, love, and faith. The Lord would penetrate my heart and reveal to me how “selfish” I'd been in asking him, "Why."
After all, I'd been blessed to have had my mother for almost a half-a-century. Not to mention, I still had my 85-year-old father on earth, of which my mom had asked on a deathbed for my siblings and me to watch over.
I would read the biblical passages that mother read to my siblings and me, growing up. Eventually, the anger, grief, and sorrow would dissipate as the tears turned to laughter thinking of my childhood.
I soon learned that writing poetry afforded me the reassurance to be thankful for the time spent with my mother. Thus, poetry was the device, but the memories and life lessons were the “true gifts” from God.
My personal journey and relationship with the Lord taught me the following: "Poetry was inextricably linked to my family and me, as we were the beneficiaries of an amazing woman who had completed her task---fulfilled her purpose on earth; pen to paper was to be my reminder." Moreover, whether visible or invisible, on earth or not, poetry would teach me that “Love is eternal”!
Q: How did you choose the book's title, and what does it signify for you?
A: I was fortunate to have grown up with a wise mom, but also, a "hip mom." My mother lived vicariously through her children and did not mind offering unsolicited advice.
In fact, whenever I would bring girlfriends home, and we discussed boyfriends, career, travel, or simply life---mother would always provide “sage advice” and she would have us all in tears of laughter. Thus, the birth of Through My Mother's Voice, I Found My Own.
Q: How did you decide on the order in which your poems would appear in the book?
A: Since the book is in dedication to my mother, I wanted to begin the book with a short memoir to introduce the world to my mother/family. And the order of poetry was to reflect a snippet of my life (then, now, and to come).
Q: You also include biblical passages in between many of the poems. How did you pick the passages to include?
A: The biblical and poetic passages throughout the book serve as dialogue and tone and stem from my love of positive and inspiring words in honor of those who have an impact and influential connection in my life. In essence, they have paved the path before me, so to speak.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am currently working on Vol. II (sophomore collection of “poem`oirs”) entitled "HAVOC." The collection’s theme will showcase current events in the media and in our everyday lives.
Notwithstanding, I will begin the book with a short memoir before leading into the poetry. My niche (part poetry, part essay, part narrative non-fiction). Stay tuned! I hope to release the collection mid-end of the year.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: As a child and now an adult, I have always asked the question, "why?" As such, I write and speak from the heart (narrative non-fiction) and my writing style and or creativity is more “observation rather than imagination.”
That said, I am excited to write my Vol. II (sophomore collection) because as a child born in the ‘60s in America---tumultuous times in our history---thanks to my parents, I am the beneficiary of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but as my parents would say; "Nothing incredible is impossible." God bless!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb