Interview with Brittany: Author of Poetry Collection Book, Sometimes I Cry 

Britanny Frizelle, Poet and author of Sometimes I cry

I came across Brittany’s Instagram page a few months ago and purchased her poetry book collection. Sometimes I cry is a thought provoking and emotive collection of poems about life as a black person living in the states. Each poem dwelves deeper into questions we ask ourselves as we try to figure out our purpose. I think we can all learn a lot from someone as honest as Brittany.

Hi Britanny, tell me about yourself:

I am a spirit of love and joy. I write, teach and organize for social change. I recently graduated from law school with a joint degree in Law, Community and Social Change. I love food, music, nature, laughing, and community.

When did you start writing? 

I’ve always loved reading and so I wrote my first novel in the fifth grade, but my teacher threw it away because I was working on it during class. To be honest, after that I didn’t sit down to write again unless it was sad poetry.

I don’t know exactly when I started writing, but my earliest memory of writing for real was in the third grade. I entered a Karate Art contest at school, and the teacher let me use poetry instead.

I’ve always loved reading, and so I wrote my first novel in the fifth grade, but my teacher threw it away because I was working on it during class. So to be honest, after that I didn’t sit down to write again unless it was sad poetry.

Britanny Frizelle, poet and author of Sometimes I cry
Brittany Frizzelle, poet and author of Sometimes I cry

Have you ever had moments of self doubt on your writing journey? If yes, how did you combat it? 

Self doubt has held me back for years. That doubt held me back until a pandemic struck and the threat of death outweighed it.

Oh yes, I still do! I combat it with affirmations, looking back at comments and reviews, sharing my work and getting honest feedback. I am working on my craft,, so I know that even if I don’t feel like I am getting better, the most important thing is that I am writing regardless. Eventually, it’ll be good, I think.

Self-doubt has held me back for years. I’ve always wanted to be an author, and many of my poems in my first book were 3 to 5 years old. That doubt held me back until a pandemic struck, and the threat of death outweighed it.

Some say that poetic prose is a language of the heart and soul. Has this statement resonated with you?  

I write to reflect on my times. To unpack my inner thoughts and work them out in rhyme. To struggle with ideas and feelings, and events. To yell my story my way. 

Yes, although I remember a time when I used to write happy poems. But, as I mentioned earlier, I stopped writing altogether for pleasure once my teacher threw away my novel. Then, I stuck to journalling and only wrote when I was sad and needed to release feelings.

I still do that sometimes, but now I write to reflect on my times. To unpack my inner thoughts and work them out in rhyme. To struggle with ideas and feelings, and events. To yell my story my way. 

Okay, tell me about your poetry book collection, ‘Sometimes I Cry’:

It was like my testimonial of emotional survival. I talk about love, racism, womanhood, mental health and pain.

I decide to write Sometimes I Cry because I wanted to give space to all of my emotions and show the world it is okay to feel. It was like my testimonial of emotional survival. I talk about love, racism, womanhood, mental health and pain. All of the things that impacted my daily life and that I couldn’t quite come to grips with outside of poetry has been detailed in this book. They represent my life and my heart in a way and all the different journeys and experiences we have had. 

Sometimes I cry by Brittany Frizzelle can be found on Amazon.

What was your writing process like for ‘Sometimes I cry?’

They weren’t planned or thought out; just felt and released. Many of them started in my head and ended in a journal or my one note app if I couldn’t stop and write. 

As mentioned earlier, many of the poems were old, but all of them were written in a moment of need. They weren’t planned or thought out; just felt and released. Many of them started in my head and ended in a journal or my one note app if I couldn’t stop and write. 

I decided to put them all out in a collection in response to some mental health issues I was having right before the pandemic began. I had started a blog, but it wasn’t providing the release that I needed or producing the conversations I hoped to have.

It took about four months from the idea phase to getting these publish but only because I didn’t know what I was doing. 

What was the hardest part of writing and getting your book published?  

I know why I put the book together and how I want folks to engage with it, but everybody is different and trying to promote to different people is hard.

For me, I’d say marketing is definitely the most difficult part.  The truth is, you are never sure how people will respond to the choices you make, and you don’t want to influence their opinion. I know why I put the book together and how I want folks to engage with it, but everybody is different and trying to promote to different people is hard.

Britanny Frizelle, poet and author of Sometimes I cry
Brittany Frizzelle, Poet and author of Sometimes I cry

What advice will you give to someone who wants to publish a poetry collection of their own? 

In my opinion, poets are sensitive and need to be secure in their work before sharing it with others. So for any aspiring poet I will advice that you make sure you are comfortable before sharing it.

  • Write what you want to write. 
  • Understand that folks will question you or make suggestions so its important for you to know what you are doing and how to go about it.
  • Make sure you love it and you want to engage with it. Then, start the process of reaching out to others to complete the publishing process.

In my opinion, poets are sensitive and need to be secure in their work before sharing it with others. So for any aspiring poet I will advice that you make sure you are comfortable before sharing it.

Find out more about Brittany, via Instagram and on her website.

5 thoughts on “Interview with Brittany: Author of Poetry Collection Book, Sometimes I Cry 

  1. I really enjoyed reading to this! Quite refreshing to read about how Brittany was able to find an outlet for her emotions, thoughts, struggles and questions about life.

  2. “The truth is, you are never sure how people will respond to the choices you make, and you don’t want to influence their opinion.”

    This interview is beautiful. I love Brittany’s story of healing and self-discovery.

    Poetry is sometimes a journey of recovery and discovery. Our pen may take us through paths that may seem unappealing to other wayfarers. We should do our best to decorate the paths we follow with a confetti of relatable expressions. Our greatest job is to create a melting pot in our mysterious paths.

    Kudos, Ibukun. 👍👍👍

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