Bloom: Poems & Prose
By: Savanah Tillberg, Arts and Culture Editor
To publish a book is an achievement of monumental proportion, but to do it by age 20 is something very few people can say they’ve accomplished. Lakehead University student, Samantha Convey, is one of the few in this category of authors. Convey’s book of poetry, Bloom, was published and released this past October.
Convey is a 3rd year English and History student at Lakehead University. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, she currently works at Chapters Book Store as well as the Thunder Bay Public Library and is a self-proclaimed “book nerd.” In an interview with The Argus, she said that loved books and reading long before her writing career began in high school. “It started off as little short stories,” which she would write in high school. She explained that she began to read poetry in her university classes and that she was intrigued by how the poets were able to express themselves in their writing. Convey then started reading more and more poetry outside of her classes and eventually tried her hand at writing it. “It ended up becoming something I did a lot, and I started writing a bunch – and that’s kind of where the book came out of,” Convey said.
Convey said that she writes primarily about “sappy stuff.” She draws her inspiration from people and the feelings she associates with those people. She said that she often molds her poetry around her feelings towards the people in her life and that her poetry largely revolves around romance and platonic love. She told The Argus: “I love writing about people because I think that humans are kind of fantastic.”
If you read Convey’s book, you’ll notice that nature and natural elements make reoccurring appearances throughout different poems. She credits this theme to her inclination to draw on nature to describe her emotions and state of mind. She said she uses “situations that make me feel really good – like if I’m going on a walk and its autumn.” These experiences help Convey describe her feelings when she’s spending time with someone she cares about.
Convey said that she really wanted this collection to radiate positivity. She commented on our inherent nature to focus on the negative aspects of our life before the good. She noted she was a victim of this pessimistic thought process for a long time and that this affected her, “specifically in high school and around first year of university where everything was just really negative.” Convey would like to see her book to stand as an example and as a reminder for positive thinking. She explained that, “you can see the good things [in the world] and the good things in people [and] you really need to take and cherish it because a lot of the time people can be really bad.” Convey continued to note that being a history major can be draining because all of the horrible things that have been done by people in the past are constantly the topic of discussion, and this leaves little room for focusing on the good. Convey doesn’t believe that “people are naturally programmed to be terrible” and she wants to acknowledge and focus on the “good people who have existed and who exist now.”
Convey noted that one of her biggest inspirations for her writing is her father. She added that, “he’s always been a motivator,” and that he’s always been proud and supportive of everything she’s done. When Convey told her father she was going to self-publish a book, he had no doubt about whether or not she was capable of it, and even encouraged her do to what was going to make her happy. Convey continued that her dad’s belief in her ability and amount of support he provided throughout the whole process of creating a book was inspiring to her: “he’s a really good person, ” she said.
Despite being a writer, Convey draws inspiration from all forms of art. She explained that music, painting, acting, photography and all forms of creative expression are inspiriting to her. “I love people who just make stuff,” she said. Convey stated that a lot of her inspiration comes from “the good things that people do,” and that she is ultimately inspired by art because, “one of the best things someone can do is make and share art.”
One artist in particular that Convey finds inspirational is the American poet, Steve Roggenbuck. She stated that Roggenbuck writes about making the most of your time on this earth and how “we’re going to die someday, so do something beautiful – live in this moment right now, and make it a good moment.”
Convey describes her book as “amateur-ly published,” due to the lack of a publishing team and the fact that she had to do all the writing, editing, formatting and cover art herself. She said the greatest challenge in creating this book was not the writing, but rather the formatting—a time consuming and frustrating process. Despite “having to jump into the adult world” sooner than she expected, Convey said she feels accomplished now that her book is complete and out in the world. Later this year the book may be available the Thunder Bay Chapters Book Store, which Convey is very excited about. “It’s huge,” she says, “[a year ago] I never thought that I’m [would] have my books up in a huge book chain-store.” She said that working through the anxiety and fears associated with publishing a book was all worth it in the end.
If there is one thing that Samantha Convey would like readers to take away from her book, it is that good can be found in the smallest things if you choose to focus on them. Her book, Bloom, is currently available for purchase on the Amazon website. For more of her work you can visit her blog at everymindisaworld.weebly.com/blog.