My name is Janeth Benjamin and I am a poet, freelance writer, blogger, and self-published author from the Bronx, New York. I am elated to share my story and books with the Author’s Lounge readers and supporters because it’s all about poetry and self-care. I released my second book, April Showers in November 2020 after attending an online summit for creatives and entrepreneurs in July 2020.
I was born and raised in St. Mary Jamaica, West Indies, and later migrated to New York in 2009, to the Riverdale section of the Bronx with my sisters. I graduated from Monroe College in New Rochelle with a Masters in Criminal Justice with a 4.0 GPA. I then went on the work with world-renowned disability advocates Binder and Binder in the Bronx as a Writer. As I wrote briefs and arguments on behalf of Social Security disability applicants, I was also writing poetry.
I was first introduced to poetry at the age of 7 by my second-grade teacher, Ms.Fray at the Water Valley Primary School in Islington, St. Mary Jamaica, and became an award-winning poet at an early age. Despite stepping away from competitions, I kept my love for words alive by writing poetry. My poems are motivational and faith-inspired and are geared at encouraging authenticity through self-love.
In 2016, I self-published my first poetry collection, Bloom by 30, the Miki Chronicles. The book was well-received by my peers. I was also published in 2018, with my siblings, The Benjamin Poets, in the well-known anthology by Bronx Native and Bronx Writers.
April Showers is an expression of self-love and embracing your authentic self. It speaks about constantly choosing what’s best for you, above everything else. It further enhances my self-awareness and self-care mission. The idea for the book came after a session with Yetunde Shorters, Next Level Purpose Coach at the online summit where poetry and self-care was mentioned. Ms. Shorters’ session focused on helping entrepreneurs gain clarity on how to increase the impact of their purpose with her foolproof TWIQ method. The method requires that you answer a crucial question, what makes you, you? Having gone through my own existential journey, I was intrigued by the question and took the challenge by writing a poem which led to discovering more poems in my unpublished collection that also answered the question. Three days after writing the first poem, I had a collection of poems ready for publication. The poems are motivational and faith-inspired and are geared at encouraging authenticity through self-love. So, it was only fitting that my new book encourages a deep sense of authenticity.
The title April Showers was inspired by the fact that my professional poetic journey started during the National Poetry Month and most of the poems were written in that month in recent years. With the world basically going through a massive reset, April Showers is a reminder during the transformation to remain true to yourself. To exercise care because you are your best to others when you are good to yourself.
Accompanying the book release is The Poetry Box. The Poetry Box Collaborative is a celebration of poets and poetry lovers with items carefully curated to create a unique self-care experience through words, relaxation, and self-awareness. The box launch will include a signed copy of April Showers, A Mug, herbal tea from Chillology, poetry candle from AKINAHS LLERON, and A Bookmark.
There is a plan to expand the Poetry Box as an ongoing subscription service to include other poets and other items by creatives and entrepreneurs of colors with a similar mission. The need to immerse ourselves in different ways to practice self-care has become more evident with COVID-19. Especially with the uncertainty, social distancing, and sheltering in place rules. Poetry has been enjoyed for centuries and reading is an inexpensive and effective way to unwind and support poets and other creatives. To choose the Poetry Box is to take an active and unique approach to manage your well-being.
Follow me on Instagram @themikichronicle