In just a few weeks, I will be celebrating 5 years of Inciting A Riot. January 2009 saw the birth of what has evolved into my blogging and podcasting microcosm. From the beginning I shared my poetry with you all. January 31, 2009 saw my first poem uploaded to this here website - a poem called 'Bred - and poetry has been a part of my podcast from day one.
Over the last five years, I've had people tell me that the worst thing about my podcast was the poetry. Reviewers of my show have said that it's 'annoying' or 'boring' or 'self-centered' to share my writing with you all. And, that's fine. That's fair, I guess. It is no secret that poetry is not a lucrative form of writing these days. It is no longer the profession that kings and queens regard as important enough to lavish praise and gifts upon poets for their words. It's not going to put food on anyone's table. It's barely got any big named poets these days to call its own. (looking at you, Billy Collins)
It's a kid with a pen and the things he needs to get onto paper.
But, for five years, I've also had the pleasure of people writing in to tell me that they liked my poetry. That it made them feel one way or another. And, the fact that my writing made someone else feel at all is humbling.
Today, I am taking another step in my poetry journey. I'm releasing my first book of poetry, entitled The Playground. I almost forgot to underline the title, but I get to...because it's a book. It's my book.
There is something important in my posting this, here, for you all to see. Because, my book didn't get published under the name Fire Lyte. Fire Lyte didn't write the poetry. I did. The guy behind Fire Lyte. The one who wears the Fire Lyte mask from time to time. The one who has to walk away from the computer screen and go live life and pay bills and walk the dog and be a person. That's the guy who wanted the credit for the book. And, it left me at a conundrum. While I've not made any attempt to clamp up about my identity - I think that ship sailed when I opened my Etsy shop - I've never put my own name on my blog before.
There is a trust here, that I'm extending to you all. A secret. A power that I'm handing over, hoping that you'll be responsible with it. Because, by telling you my name, I know what I'm inviting. Over the years, despite attempting to keep some shred of separation between the two identities, I've had people hunt out my personal Facebook, my professional networks, my home address, where I work. At times it ranged from weird to creepy to downright scary. So, I know exactly what I'm inviting.
But, I'm not inviting it, you see. I'm sharing with you and hoping you all will have the respect to remember that, as far as the Riot and all that it entails goes, I'm still Fire Lyte. Nobody else exists here.
It is because of my love for you all, though, that I wanted to share this part of my life with you. My Playground. My book that took me 27 years to write. It's short. It's sweet, sour, funny, and biting, sometimes all at once. And, it's mine.
If you've liked my poetry, think about picking one up. You have a number of ways that you can do so. Shortly, it will be available for purchase on Amazon.com. It is available as an ebook and as a paperback. I recommend the paperback, because poetry needs to be held.
Both can be purchased by going to http://bit.ly/ThePlayground.
Buy two and give the gift of poetry to a friend.
Thank you for being part of my poetry journey. I promise, a new Riot will be incited soon enough.
Love and Lyte,