Erica Adelaide Johnson has self-published two poetry collections, Shadow Songs and Echoes in the Void. Her first book, Shadow Songs, is a journey through dark, damp depths to find the light. It exudes the idea that the pain one feels in the dark can always give way to a beautiful new beginning if only one finds the strength to brave the light. Echoes in the Void is a continuation of that journey with a focus on the aging of grief. Her favorite poem is “Both Tomorrows and Yesterdays” from Echoes in the Void. Both of these collections are available on Amazon.
Erica is currently working on a third poetry collection with a publication date to be determined and has vivid ideas for two more poetry collections. She is interested in widening her writing portfolio and has been considering a concept for a novel. The titles of her books typically come as an extension of the collection’s concept. She writes down everything she wants the book to encompass and chooses a title that she feels best represents the overarching idea. However, there have been times when the title comes before any of the poems have been written, and others where the title was finalized halfway through. As with the title, her writing process begins by writing out the main points she wants to cover in the collection and searching for the connections that can be made between them. Her books usually have four sections, and she will correlate each section to the other. She enjoys writing a journey and progression of a concept throughout the sections.
For Erica, she starts with an idea and lets the poem dictate where it goes; one line can morph into a poem on its own. She has come to understand that writing can be surprising, even when you hold the pen yourself. Writing poetry has always been a form of therapeutic expression for her. She started writing poetry in middle school, but writing became a more essential part of her life in her junior year of high school. She encountered a lot of turmoil in her life at that point, and it only seemed to worsen in the years that followed. Poetry was a way for her to make art out of the emotional pain, and in the process, expand her perspective on the events that had unfolded. Writing helped her discover who she was in spite of all that had happened. She is particularly inspired by Blake Auden’s work and the evolution of his writing journey over the last few years. It gives her hope that words have the power of finding their way to their intended audience. Blake Auden would be her ideal mentor, and she would appreciate more insight into the growth of his platform as he started with self-publishing, as well. Erica feels greatly impacted by every book she’s ever read, but she was wildly inspired by the first book of poetry she was gifted, Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson. That was the first time she ever truly considered writing and publishing a collection of her own someday, which goes to show the power of a good book. The last book she read was If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio, and it is now among her favorites. She particularly enjoys reading historical fiction but struggles to connect to science fiction books. When she’s not reading or writing,
Erica loves going hiking and traveling whenever she gets the opportunity to escape for a little bit. Erica does most of her writing at her desk at home, but she’s also scribbled lines anywhere an idea has struck her. Her phone is full of notes and she has boxes of sticky notes with ideas she’s gotten away from home. She finds it difficult to reach a point where she believes that the work is finished; there are some poems she has read over and over, and still wondered if there was one more tweak that would make it perfect. She’s learned not to agonize over it, though; sometimes the poem knows when it’s ready before the poet sees it. She tries to fit in small windows of writing every day, but more often she’ll only write for a few hours a week. She’s hoping to have more time to devote to her writing in the future. Erica completely embraces the emotional part of writing; she cries, she reminisces, and she lets the anger, love, laughter, and pain wash over her. She knows that writing isn’t always pretty, but it is always real. Opening herself up to those emotions led to her creating some of her favorite poems of all time.
Writing energizes Erica in a way that’s unlike anything else. It isn’t restful for her, but it does leave behind an emotional peace and sense of fulfillment. Her writing journey has always been about finding a deeper meaning to what she has experienced through the impact of her words. Literary success for her would be achieving a platform where she can share her work and others will have something to gain from it. She hopes that the expression of her experiences through poetry can offer some perspective to others. If doing so allowed her the freedom to travel and fuel her creative endeavors, that would be the ultimate dream.
Her advice for new writers would be to honor the ideas planted in them and not let the fear of judgement hold them back. She knows that there are always going to be people around you who don’t understand the deep need to express yourself in the written word. There will also always be those who criticize your work, and not always for the sake of constructive feedback.
However, she thinks it’s important to not discount the courage to take that step, and if some inner part of you says that you must write, don’t push it into the background. Erica notes that we have no way of knowing the impact our words might have and it is up to us to give them a chance to reach those they were intended for.
You can find Erica Adelaide Johnson on https://linktr.ee/erica_adelaidepoetry, on Instagram and TikTok as @erica_adelaidepoetry and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org