Updated: Sep 2
By Annie Newcomer:
The Flapper Press Poetry Café's Emerging Poets series features the work of newbie poets from around the world, celebrating creative expression through poetry. This week, we share the work of Sherri Rabinowitz.
Inspired by Ray Bradbury and Agatha Christie, Sherri has been writing since she was a small child. She has always loved writing but has had to make a living as an actress, a travel agent, and in several forms of customer service—but her passion has always been writing, and she enjoys both reading and writing fan fiction.
Sherri's first book, Murder Inc., was a fan favorite, then came Fantasy Time Inc., which was nominated for a Global Ebook Award. Her Children's book, Different Is Beautiful, is already a bestseller; it has been #2 in hot releases, #2 in Early Childhood Education, and #3 in Preschool & Kindergarten on Amazon! And it won the Gold (First Place) for Global Ebook Awards for Children Picture Books Fiction category! Her memoir, Entering My Second Half, has been nominated for a Global E-book Award! Her second children's book is A Kitty's View, which was number one in Hot New Releases in Children's Activity Books! Ranked number 1 on Author Page, A Kitty's View, An Interactive Children’s Book! On it is way is a second edition of Murder Inc. with Ausxip Publishing!
Sherri is the host of Blogtalk Radio's Chatting With Sherri, and her show was nominated for the Shorty Award! The show is entering its 7 season, and its the home of The Chatty Awards! Sherri is also the producer of Sherri's Playhouse, which is entering its 4th season!
We reached out to Sherri to talk about her work and influences.
Please meet Sherri Rabinowitz!
AN: Welcome to the Flapper Press Poetry Café, Sherri. How many years have you been writing poetry, and how did you progress from mystery and children’s books to poetry?
SR: Actually, poetry came first. I started as a little girl about 7 years old. My first poem was about my dog, Boots, how I loved her little white feet and her cute little nose. I wrote my first short story by accident; I was in class, and they asked us to write a paragraph from one sentence on the chalkboard. If I remember right, I was about ten years old, and I wrote 6 pages, my version of a Greek Myth, and that was beginning of my prose writing.
AN: Have you ever considered writing children’s poetry?
SR: No, I haven't written any children's poetry since I was a child. I did write a few children's books, but not a poetry book.
AN: Why is poetry important to you?
SR: It is a way of expressing myself through my deepest emotions, it is the way I get through hard times and tragedy. I really wrote a lot through my teens (every teen thinks that every moment is full of deep emotion, that it is only happening to them). But my hardest times were when my fiancée and my parents passed away. I wrote a lot of poetry to get me through those painful, grieving times.
AN: Who are some of your favorite poets, and why?
SR: My love of poetry and poets grows so fast. A lot of poets are added to my collection. Let's see, my favorites would be (not in order): Walt Whitman, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, Emily Brontë, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrent Browning, and Virginia Woolf. I have been influenced by movies I have seen, 84 Charing Cross Road and Dead Poets Society, they brought poets to me that I had never heard of; also modern poets come to me through friends and reading novels.
AN: What is your next writing project?
SR: I am working on several, but the two I am intensely working on are a completely new edition of my first novel, Murder Inc., which is pretty much a re-write—same story but different style—and my first attempt at YA fiction; it will be my first series called Sandra and the Children of Light. They will both be coming out hopefully next year.
I was honestly in a crowd of people, but I didn't know anyone, and I felt isolated, and in a scary way alone, like no one could see me, but I wanted to scream "I'm here, can't you see me?" I sat down and wrote this sitting in a chair at a trade show because I had to get it out.
Here I am surrounded by people and I'm all alone;
I get so lonely in a crowd;
Yet, I can be alone and not be lonely;
I miss my friends that are long gone;
I have no one to chat to;
To confide in . . .
My greatest wish is for companions like “The Thousandth Man.”
If I could find that one Being;
I would finally be happy;
And not alone.
This has happened to me twice: first when my dad died and then when my mom died, years apart, but it was so alike I just couldn't take it. I saw them at the hospital that day, alive, talking, warm, and funny. Then in the middle of the night, 2 a.m. or so, I got a call from a nurse saying they were dead. I found myself yelling at a stranger, crying and begging that it not be true. I always deal with strong emotions through poetry; this poured out of me because I was spinning in turmoil.
No, you’re wrong!!!!!!
This can’t be happening.
I won’t let it.
The phone is slammed down….
I’m on the floor, but I don’t know how.
Not dead! No! I Won’t let be!
I’m awash in tears…..
This came from a meditation. I was going through a lot medical issues, and I wanted to clear myself through my mind. I whooshed out into a starscape, but it was bright, brighter colors than I had ever seen. I just allowed it. It helped me, it was like a mini-vacation, which I badly needed.
Awe and Wonder
Beauty, such beauty;
I have never seen anything the like;
It lights my soul.
Blue, pink and green…
Fills my vision;
From all sides;
It lights my soul.
Dream like I reach out to touch it;
To taste it;
To smell it;
To swim in it….
My soul floats free in it!
This is a bit of an experiment. I wanted to convey really deep emotion with very simple, repetitive language.
Another poem from when my mom passed. I was thinking of a movie where a character died when he went through a screen and how you felt that if you could just reach out and pull them back, they would live. But of course, they didn't, and my Mom was gone. I was also reflecting on aging, and as you age, you lose more and more people, not just through death but just through the way life goes; departures are normal, but that doesn't make it less heartbreaking.
Gone in the Mist
Many things vanish in the mists of time;
It feels never-ending as you get older more things go;
And they go faster.
The hardest are the people;
They are irreplaceable;
The people I love most of all;
They are in my heart;
but I can no longer touch them.
I wish I could pull them out of the mist;
to be next to me;
I miss them.
Annie Newcomer teaches poetry classes at the University of Kansas Medical Center's Turning Point—a place for hope and healing for people suffering with chronic health problems. Her North Stars series shares interviews with poets and writers and Annie's own experiences through writing.
Annie is also helms the Flapper Press Poetry Café—dedicated to celebrating poets from around the world and to encouraging everyone to write poetry!
FlapperPress launches the Flapper Press Poetry Café.
Presenting a wide range of poetry with a mission to promote a love and understanding of poetry for all. We welcome submissions for compelling poetry and look forward to publishing and supporting your creative endeavors. Submissions may also be considered for the Pushcart Prize.
1. Share at least three (3) poems
2. Include a short bio of 50–100 words, written in the third person.
(Plus any website and links.)
3. Share a brief backstory on each submitted poem
4. Submit an Author's photo and any images you want to include with the poems
5. Send all submissions and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org