Personal Reflective Essay

Being a Writer, Storyteller, and Poet.

How I Became Interested in my Hobby?

To begin this reflective writing, I asked some initial questions, such as:

What was my contact with books and writing like? Who were the first authors I read? Throughout my life, I have been winning some poetry contests. What if you asked me when did you start to develop your poetic vein? What books have you already published? What inspires me the most? What do I like most about writing and why? What is poetry for me?

Based on the above written questions, I started to think, I went back in time and started to answer the following:

My grandmother was an excellent storyteller. I learned a lot from her and in elementary school, I was already declaiming poetry. I was already in charge of the library of the Catholic mission in Canchungo. I began this crazy transition from oration to literature itself, always preserving oration.

If memory does not fail me, the first authors I read and declared were: Agnelo Regala, Amílcar Cabral, TonyTcheka and later I had read Abdulai Silá, Mia Couto, Saramago, Mário Vargas…

As for the competitions where I have participated and the development of the “taste” for poetry and writing in general, I have to say, Yes, I always liked to write. I still remember writing to myself and after a few days, the letter was answered by me to myself! I was under 15, my colleagues thought it was crazy, and they were right.

And as far as publications are concerned, I published 3 books of poems and have more than 10 participations poetic anthologies. I am the mentor of the greatest Guinean poetic anthology and also, I published 2 novels and many articles.

One of the most frequently asked questions I have had is about my sources of inspiration. In this regard, I have said the following: The mere fact of being born in Guinea and having grown up there, and everything that happened there, makes the country the greatest source of inspiration. Today I say that

I have two muses: – Guinea Bissau and my wife. However, I like to write poems of intervention, the so-called militants’ poems, because fiction is confused with reality, not only in Guinea but a little around the world. There are periods of great inversions of values, which makes society today more and more aggressive, more criminal, more corrupt and less supportive. Therefore, poems of intervention become a peaceful weapon.

On the other hand, many people have asked me what it means to be a poet in my point of view, and I have answered the following: For me, more than a literary genre, poetry is the best way I have found to be and relate to the world.

To end this reflection, nothing is better than talking about my dreams and future projects! Therefore, my most ardent dream is to see true peace, stability, and progress reign over the homeland that has seen me born, Guinea-Bissau and, consequently, to be able to live in a more supportive and fairer world. I dream to be a full an academic; an intellectual. So, in the medium-term project, I venture to other places, to pursue my studies and then to go back to Guinea-Bissau!

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