Genesis (Why I Write)

Jose Vilson 3 Comments

Thinking ManThe biggest question any burgeoning writer answers for anyone is “Why do you write?” Whether one write essays, lesson plans, and poetry (like yours truly), or are into the other genres such as fashion or sports writing, one finds him or herself asking those questions as well, especially because humans always like to think there’s a purpose behind the madness they create. G_d forbid all of this actually means nothing.

Personally, I started writing when I was in the 1st grade, though my true first creative (and effective) piece I wrote was in the 5th grade. While I was misguided in writing what I did (too public to get into really), the seeds of a true writer
were sown then.

Of course, as every writer does, I went through my early phase of writing corny love poems, then the sci-fi writings inspired by X-Men and other Marvel characters through high school, the attempts at rapping, which did not come to fruition fortunately (Can you see me as a “conscious” rapper? I thought so, too), and the miscellaneous writings about my identity that still hold a place in my heart.

I found my niche in college, around the time the current performance poetry became popular in the underground. While I always knew what the Nuyorican Poets Cafe was (I live 3 blocks away), I did not understand the magnitude or significance it had amongst many of my favorite poets. These rather bombastic and semi-celestial men and women who I met through various programs at Cuse helped shape the identity I wanted to establish.

From the soul-trembling performances of Amiri Baraka and StaceyAnn Chin, to the earthly readings of Sonia Sanchez and Jessica Care Moore, I only thought to myself how I wanted to have a voice that rung so resoundingly in the ears of generations past and present. Their poetry was more than just a set of words on paper; it was a shared experience, and certainly the person on stage was to the person off-stage as Superman is to Clark.

I also began to go through a maturation process because of the mass organizations I joined, the experiences I went through during that time period, and the courses I took about myself and where I am from. This combination of elements shaped what I write to this day. This laid the foundation for what I write and how I do it.

As for why I write now … that’ll be a good post for next week. Tune in, mi gente.
jose, the everlasting …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 3

  1. LuzMaria

    You write from deep within you. It makes your words even more powerful because they represent so many people, including you. Continue to inspire the rest of us.

  2. Pink

    UR not only a skillful, creative writer, you are humorous. Love the corny love poem to X-Men characters. Would love to read one, if you got one about Wolverine, he’s my favorite.

    Why do you write, I think is common with all writer, good or bad. You have to, you just have to. So keep doing your thing.

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