Poetry is Grace Maier-Crook’s strength.
Poetry is the language or medium of expression of a soul that refuses to die, of a spirit that refuses to crumble, submit, or concede to defeat. For many people, poetry appeals to one’s sense of creativity, sense of purpose, meaning, and direction in life, and sense of resilience and fortitude. With such a soul and spirit, author and poet Grace Maier-Crook has demonstrated a stunning proficiency with poetry through her book Innerlight’s; Eat and Drink My Words (ReadersMagnet; 2022).
Grace Maier-Crook has been writing poetry since 1980. She turned her thoughts to writing after her retirement as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) due to her neck injury. She took writing more seriously after the death of her husband, Ed.
It is no secret that an author’s/poet’s life influences their literary works. Crook’s poems deal with the human condition. Her poetry book Innerlight’s, which covers a wide range of subjects, speaks about her experiences going through physical and verbal abuse and the trauma that followed. Writing Innerlight’s does not only help her cope with the loss of her husband but also process the pent-up feelings that she had and find self-love and healing in her life.
Her writing journey
Grace Maier-Crook recently guested on Kate Delaney’s nationally syndicated radio program America Tonight to talk about her brand of poetry, the challenges she had been through, and the importance and benefits of writing. She also recited her favorite poem, “My Journey Alone,” which she wrote after the death of her husband and is her first piece of serious writing.
In her interview, she briefly talked about her late husband, who passed away in a hospice. Before he died, he told her, “Grace, I want you to get published.” So, with his encouragement and her need to step out of her comfort zone, she published Innerlight’s.
The book’s title was taken from the handle “Innerlight” that she uses at Writing.com. She was looking through different names when “Innerlight” struck her. She immediately felt a connection to the title.
Innerlight’s tells the story of how the author overcame many demons in her life. She shared with Kate the ordeals she had gone through other than the death of her husband, such as child abuse, alcoholism, and pointless partying.
She went to social media during the pandemic. She joined online bipolar and writing groups to interact with others and share her writings. She also received help for improving her writing, which added to her confidence in publishing her book.
Dealing with bipolar disorder
In her present state, the author deals not only with widowhood and writing but also with her bipolar disorder. She acknowledged that talking about mental illnesses is still a stigma, and many people, even family members, will neither understand nor speak about the topic. She revealed that it was ten years before she told her parents that she was bipolar. By undergoing therapy and working closely with her therapist, the author is able to overcome the many challenges of bipolar disorder.
“Just write your feelings down.”
At this, the author took the opportunity to praise the benefits of journaling and writing poetry. She hopes that everyone will be given a chance or give themselves the chance to sort out and write down their feelings. By doing so, they inspire themselves to process their feelings instead of hiding them away. She said, “I hope they will find within themselves to seek help and to write down their feelings.”