Kendall Driscoll will featured be at the Appleby Library Garden Series Concert on June 16th at 8pm. She will be reading from her recently published book of poetry titled Speech of the Masquerade. She will also be featured playing the flute, accompanied by a string chamber ensemble called the King's Strings. This is a family friendly event. Bring a lawn chair to the event.
Date: June 16th
Venue: Appleby Library (a branch of the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library)
Address: 2260 Walton Way
Augusta, GA 30904
It’s hard to believe that it has nearly been a month since the release of my poetry book. December truly made all my dreams come true. Even in my wildest dreams, I had never imagined that I’d ever have the courage to share my poetic voice with the world. And now, here I am.
Last month, several members of my Furman family came together to celebrate the release of Speech of the Masquerade. There was a reading from my book, there was a celebratory cake, and there were friends of mine who came to support me. I cannot possibly imagine a more perfect book release party. Thank you to all who came out!
1. Make flyers advertising the book party.
2. Invite EVERYONE to come.
3. Order a cake from Strossner's.
4. Bring copies of the book for purchase.
5. Decide upon which poems to read.
6. Draft a speech.
7. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.
I’ve spoken to several fellow writers over the last few months who have expressed the desire to be a part of a writing group. Most of these people have never attended a writing session and others haven’t found the right writing club to fit their style. Finding the right group for you is a little tricky, but in the end, it’s well worth it. Here are my tips for you:
My advice: Try it out. Small writing groups are personally my favorite. You can really develop close writing friends this way. Also, don’t be afraid to join a group that’s out of your comfort zone. Writing is writing. We share common interests and perhaps you can share a novel excerpt and they can give some good feedback.
Hypothetical situation #2: This writing club is massive. From the look of things, the club is dominated by a fair few and everyone else sits back.
My advice: Try it out. See what the group has to offer. Perhaps you’ll gain some ideas about possible writing prompts or maybe you’ll have the courage to share something in front of this large writing club. Getting a lot of a feedback is necessary for a writer.
As days tick down until the release of Speech of the Masquerade, I find myself getting more and more excited for the day when I finally hold my book of poetry in my hands. Each morning I wake up with unbelievable excitement for what is to come. This is probably normal for anyone publishing their first book, but for me, it's a absolutely extraordinary.
Now is the time to plan out my list of events for my Christmas break...
I'll having a release party at Furman University on Dec. 10th and a release party on Dec. 18th at the Book Tavern in Augusta, GA. You can find the info at the following links:
Stay up to date with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @Kdriscoll14255!
Can anyone believe that the book is going to be released in exactly one month?
Meanwhile as the countdown continues, enjoy this wonderful article Furman covering my book! http://newspress.furman.edu/2014/11/kendall-driscoll-16-becomes-published-poet/
“I speak of the masks I hide behind.” These are the words which began my literary journey about five years ago. With these words, I made a speech which took form as a poem which changed my life in ways I had never imagined.
Late in the summer of 2009, I wrote a poem titled “Speech of the Masquerade.” The poem was a bold revelation uncovering the true feelings and the true selves that people mask from the world. At the time, I was a freshman in high school. I used writing as an escape. Writing was a way I could freely express myself. Through words, I was able to communicate all which I was afraid to speak aloud.
But sometimes, even writing was difficult, especially when I wrote of myself.
The speaker of “Speech of the Masquerade” is conscious of the masquerade which is reality. She sees the masks that people wear in order to fit in and be accepted. And then she admits this is true of herself. The speaker is a shy, unknown writer who fears rejection above all else.
When I wrote the poem, I was my speaker. As a shy, high school introvert, I struggled expressing myself in front of people. My fear of criticism was debilitating. Like the speaker of my poem, I kept my thoughts locked up in a notebook and shuddered at the thought of letting anyone read my work. Then somehow, my words gave me the courage to share my work.
In the spring of 2010, I submitted this poem to Poetry Matters Contest, telling myself that I had nothing to lose. A month or so later, I received an email congratulating me for winning first place in the high school category for poetry. Before I knew what was happening, I was at the Poetry Matters awards ceremony reading my poem aloud. In that moment, I was reminded that the narrator of my poem takes a stand. My narrator has the power to command speech and is unafraid to speak and reveal her true self. In reality, I was the narrator, and I had the power to speak my mind.
Reading my poem aloud to an audience meant I was vulnerable, but this openness was the start of change. Who knew that this change would lead to future publication? Lucinda Clark, the founder of Poetry Matters and the publisher of P.R.A. Publishing, spoke to me after the ceremony about my writing. This was the first time I had ever considered publishing my work. “Speech of the Masquerade” gave me my poetic voice and offered me the courage to continue writing.
Throughout high school and college, I continued to write. I filled notebooks with poetry. I embarked on the national writing challenge called “National Novel Writing Month” (“NaNoWriMo”). I attended open mics, entered various poetry competitions, and submitted work to literary magazines. In the fall of my freshman year of college, I took a leap of bravery and submitted a query letter to P.R.A Publishing to publish a collection of my poetry. My poetry manuscript titled Speech of the Masquerade is about unmasking the rawness of human emotions. It is about voicing our personal stories, unveiling our beautiful souls, and unmasking ourselves so that the world can see who we are and how we feel.
As I worked with P.R.A on the details going into the publication of my chapbook, I balanced college coursework and continued work on my novel manuscript. For me, I knew my “normal college experience” differed from everyone else’s. Where many of friends relaxed with video games and TV after classes finished for the day, I returned to my dorm room to novel write.
Writing is still an escape for me, and poetry is still my first love. For me, "Speech of the Masquerade" is more than just a poem. "Speech of the Masquerade" is my voice.
The editing process has been completed, the layout process begins today, and I'm starting to gather endorsements for my chapbook of poetry! After many months of work, things are truly unfolding beautifully now. For this, I must thank PRA Publishing for doing the impossible (aka. publishing my manuscript which I had imagined would always stay locked up in my notebook). I'm also eternally grateful to my editor Melody Collins who is a saint, a genius, and a wizard. She performed beautiful magic on my manuscript.
I say this with love: Please proofread.
Just last week (aka. a few days before the Fourth of July), I passed by an establishment with this sign. I shook my head, snapped a picture of said sign, and notified the managers thusly.
May this be a warning to all who forget proofread.
That is all.
It's hard to believe that this was me four years ago. Four years ago, I made a speech which took form as a poem which would change my life in ways I had never imagined.
I wrote "Speech of the Masquerade" in late summer of 2009, but it wasn't until the spring of 2010 when I shared this poem with anyone. As I said in the video, writing for me was an escape--a place where I could freely express myself. As a shy high school introvert, I struggled expressing myself in front of people. Fear of criticism was debilitating. Like the speaker of my poem, I kept my thoughts locked up in a notebook.
In the spring of 2010, I submitted this poem to Poetry Matters Contest after an English teacher mentioned the submission guidelines for the poetry contest. Honestly, I didn't expect anything, but still, I had nothing to lose. This was the first time I had submitted writing for any kind of competition. A month or so later, I received an email congratulating me for winning first place in the high school category for poetry. I danced, I shouted in joy, and exclaimed to friends about this accomplishment...but then I realized the catch. I'd have to publically recite my poem at the awards ceremony. This thought was enough to paralyze me.
For as long as I could remember, I cursed public speaking. The experiences I had with it involved memorized recitations in front of classmates who either paid meticulous attention or fell asleep in the middle of your presentation. Needless to say, my experiences with presentations was rather negative. The idea of reading in front of a crowd was daunting, especially if it was in front of adults. In a way, I was afraid of how my poem would be received by those around me.
About week or so before my recitation, I sought help from a former English teacher of mine who seemed to be the guru of public speaking. She coached me and reminded me of my narrator's strength. My narrator had the power to command speech. The speaker is unafraid to speak and reveal her true self. In reality, I was the narrator and I had the power to speak my mind.
When I read this poem at the awards ceremony, I feel an unexplainable bout of confidence. This doesn't mean I wasn't nervous because I was terribly afraid before the ceremony began. I mean to say that as I spoke the words of poem I felt the power of what I had written. I was vulnerable, but this openness was the start of change. Who knew that this change would lead to publication of my in a poetry anthology.
Now when I think about this poem, I think of how this poem has changed me. I still am nervous presenting my poetry, but I've grown more comfortable on the stage. I go to open mics, I share my poetry with strangers, and I have found my voice in writing. "Speech of the Masquerade" is more than a poem. "Speech of the Masquerade" is my voice.
Kendall Driscoll is an accomplished writer/ musician/ artist/ academic scholar.