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Foxcroft Academy senior published her first poetry collection

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Emily Curtis, a senior at Foxcroft Academy, recently published her first poetry collection, “in the absence of the sun.”

Curtis, a student-athlete involved in field hockey, swim, and tennis as well as Key Club, National Honor Society, and Student Council, decided to share another of her talents, one that she has kept hidden — until now.

“I think my first poem was a haiku. I was in second or third grade, maybe even younger,” she said. “I’ve always loved writing, even at that age. Definitely more than I enjoyed math.”

Despite her early start, writing poetry wasn’t always easy for Curtis. “I used to try to rhyme my poems, which, as you can imagine, made them sound childish. But I got better. I read a lot more. I found out that not all poetry had to rhyme.”

In the summer of 2015, Curtis’ style truly started to develop. She read all the poetry she could get her hands on and filled notebooks with creations of her own.

Then, she decided to take a chance.

“My junior year of high school I decided to create an independent study in poetry, because I was slowly becoming infatuated with it,” Curtis explains. “My teacher and I started out reading from poetry collections, which eventually led to me writing poems of my own.”

Although Curtis had often written poetry for herself, she had never shared it — not even with her closest friends and family.

“I slowly gained the courage to share my writing with my teacher, and after a while, I was writing 20 or 30 poems for each assignment. We decided to print them off in a ‘book,’ a little end of the year project that I could print off and give to my parents.”

Over the course of the semester, Curtis wrote hundreds of poems and spent hours revising them. Her poems became more complex and sophisticated, yet her style maintained its original charm. When her teacher suggested she publish her work — not just make a book for her parents — Curtis was hesitant.

“At first I was petrified to share my writing,” Curtis admits. “I worried what people would think, the things they would assume.”

After some encouragement from her teachers, Curtis embraced the idea of sharing her poems and set to work creating the manuscript for her first collection “in the absence of the sun.”

The inspiration for the format of her book came to her while she was writing in one of her many notebooks during the early hours of the morning.

“I tend to write the most when the sun goes down, and I am unable to sleep. The title of my collection is a reference to this time, when the sun is gone and my pen is scratching away on my notebook,” Curtis explains. “I remember this one night, this one particular night, that I based the sections of my book on. I think it was 1:30 in the morning and I was just writing. There was this one poem that just flowed out of me. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was writing and when I finished I was like, whoa, I did something there. I think it was that moment that I realized that this is something I want to do for the rest of my life.”

“in the absence of the sun” is separated into three parts: “the nightmares,” “the insomnia,” and “the dreams.”

“The nightmares are my most terrifying poems,” Curtis explains. “They explore real life situations that feel like nightmares to me. The insomnia reveals all the thoughts that keep me up at night: my fears, my regrets, my secrets, my self-doubt. But then come my dreams, the brighter poems.”

Since releasing her collection on Amazon last month, Curtis has received nothing but praise.

“I must admit, it has been a long time since I picked up a book of poetry,” says Karen Rublee, “but I am so glad I picked up this amazing collection. Every poem brought an emotion to the front. I am amazed at Emily’s incredible talent of bringing out these emotions in such a simplistic and beautiful way. I have found myself picking it up and reading the poems over and over.”

Curtis’ book has found its way into the hands of a variety of people, from her high school peers to strangers from around the country — something she never thought would happen.

“What is interesting to me, something I wasn’t expecting at all, is the diversity of people who have read my book and told me they have connected to it,” says Curtis.

Some of the most exciting responses she has received are from American supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss and bestselling author Amanda Lovelace.

“One of my friends was recently at Karlie Kloss’s camp, ‘Kode With Klossy,’ and sent me a picture of Karlie holding my book and smiling,” shares an ecstatic Curtis. “Another reaction I had to the book was from one of my favorite authors, Amanda Lovelace. She recently commented on one of my Instagram posts saying she had read the book and thought it was well done. That comment was one of the best I could have received, because her book inspired me to write one of my own.”

Although her collection has only been on sale for a little over a month, its sales have exceeded Curtis’ expectations—but what is more important to her are the reactions her poetry has received.

“When people tell me they felt connected to a certain poem, or that a poem made them relive memories, or even made them feel certain emotions, I can say my job is done. That is my biggest reward: making people feel.”

And one thing is for sure — she has earned her reward.

“in the absence of the sun” is available on Amazon in print and on Kindle, and at Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington.

Follow Curtis on Instagram at @poetryflowssofter, on Facebook at @emilycurtiswords, and visit her website at www.emilycurtiswords.com.

Contributed photo
FA SENIOR PUBLISHES POETRY COLLECTION — Foxcroft Academy senior Emily Curtis is now a published poet with the recent release of her collection “in the absence of the sun.” Curtis’ work is is separated into three parts “the nightmares,” “the insomnia,” and “the dreams” and is available through Amazon and on Kindle.

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