From a journey of pain has emerged a song of triumph. Poetry artist Teairha Washington found a way to, in her words, lend a sympathetic voice to sufferers of depression and loss. She endured the death of several loved ones, including her father, and realized that she had not given herself enough time to grieve those losses before thrusting herself back into the day to day business of living.
Her need to bring some closure led her to the poetic word as she jotted down her thoughts in literary form. The result culminated in the Saturday, March 26, 2016 release of her book, “Growing Through Grief: A Poet’s Journey From Pain to Peace”. The book signing was held at the Orleans Street Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1300 Orleans Street.
According to Washington, her book “encapsulates all aspects of the grieving process by ushering readers along a poetic trajectory of conquering the pain of loss, while delivering a powerful message of insight and responsibility in honoring the legacy of our own loved ones”.
This mother of three has been writing since the age of 12 as she experienced the death of her grandmother. She began to pour out her emotions on paper, unaware that her grandmother had passed. She presented the resulting poem to her mother, whose intuition told her that the elder had passed and found that it was so. Encouraged to express her grief, Washington continued her quest toward a poetic tome, which she says was written in honor of her father. She says writing provides a catharsis for her and she has been able to tie her pain to her purpose in an effort to help others. She is intent on helping others and has been accepted into the registered nurses’ program at the Community College of Baltimore County.
Washington is also slated to host an upcoming panel discussion on Freedom Friends TV. The topic will be the publishing process.
“Growing Through Grief: A Poet’s Journey From Pain to Peace” is available on Amazon.com and Create Space. Teairha Washington can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
As Teairha Washington lives her dream and realizes her purpose, she also reaches out to help others. Such was the case, as she reached out to her friend of 17 years, artist Latrice Alston. Washington’s book signing event would also be the artistic debut of Alston, whose artwork was on display throughout the event.
Alston, began painting as a result of a need to give Christmas gifts to family and friends. She had no money with which to purchase the gifts, so called each one and had them to identify things they liked. She took that knowledge and painted portraits for them, to their delight.
Although Alston prefers drawing, mainly with pencil, she considers herself a painter, but looks toward expanding her skills. She is currently taking a ceramics class.
When asked how she felt about making her debut, she said she felt good, was excited and a little nervous. She said she was following her dream to bring happiness to others through artwork. When she heard that her friend, Teairha, was having a book signing event, Alston, feeling the need to express her feelings about the poetry said, “Let me paint”. She read several of Washington’s pieces and the artistic muse flowed through her as she, touched by the words and insight, interpreted the poetry with each brush stroke. Alston said painting reaches out and brings beauty into the lives of others and sets an example for her own children.
Alston says art is therapeutic for her and “If I can bring joy to another, that’s what I want to do”. She is interested in doing art therapy and hopes to be starting her career in it within the next five years.
A Baltimore native, Alston said she always had the artwork potential, but needed it to be manifested along with building her confidence. To the next generation of artists, Alston says, “Follow your dream and do not be afraid to step out of the box”.
Latrice Alston can be reached on Facebook and at email@example.com.