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SHSU student addresses social issues through poetry

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 01:02

Aaron Graves

Kizzie Frank | The Houstonian

Aaron Graves

Sam Houston State University student Aaron Graves has decided to go to the beat of his own drum and the flow of his pen and publish his own collection of poetry.

“Inside the Mind of Greatness” started off as a project solely for his personal uplifting, Graves said. He eventually realized that the subjects that most speak to him may relate to a larger audience.

Graves’ poetry topics include inner conflict, human suffering, politics, sociology and other things that young people face today America.

The bonus poem, not included in the table of contents, “The Inadequate” is a piece that highlights social issues amongst high school and college aged people. More specifically, he focuses on the topic of incarceration and the feeling of entrapment.

“They deserve peace like the ones who have been vindicated. For the people that are locked up behind bars that is serving a life sentence over the charge of ‘innocence.’ This is the life of an inadequate,” Graves said in “The Inadequate”.

Graves said the poem is intended to highlight a common mentality of a younger generation and they can only go into “easy money” professions, and do out-of-the-box things.  

Graves has no background in the English department, nor does he intend to major in the subject. Without formal training, he has managed to get three publishing companies interested in publishing his work.

Some people engaged in the formal literary community can be critical about the structure of modern poetry. This is not one of the things Graves worries about, he said. He wishes to reach out to the black community, but to younger and less exposed members of society he said.

“Many of us are viewed as gang bangers, thugs, rappers, uneducated pretty much sums it all up,” he said.  “We’re known for street shootings and things like that,” he said. “I feel that kids of other ethnicities can relate to my work as well.”

Graves added that he wanted to break the constraints of the stereotype and set an example for black individuals in the community.

 “I think it’s always good to see something different come from [blacks] other than becoming rappers,” he said. “

Graves said he wishes to encourage students to write about their experiences and recite them. He intends to start an organization on campus, whose mission would be to crush the fear of public speaking amongst his fellow writers and other students.

“I am having flyer printed and hopefully will be ready to be notarized soon,” he said. “I am also linked in with Barnes and noble, scheduled for Barns & Noble in Conroe, and many other places.”

Weather permitting, Graves will host his book signing February 18 at 11 a.m – 2 p.m., SHSU’s mall area. He said he hopes to host one at Texas State University early March. He will also return to his old high school, Klein Oak, as well as Blinn College.  

Copies of “Inside of the Mind of Greatness,” will be available for $10 at each book signing.

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