We had the good fortune of connecting with Shereka Jackson Better Known as PoetryLived and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shereka Jackson, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Honestly to create a space for both aspiring and established poets to catch their breath. Poetry has become pretty political these days. Only allowing those with a following or those that are considered to be great at this thing a chance to feel the stage. Forgetting the true therapy behind the release. I want to grant all poets this opportunity in hopes to cultivate a community where we can freely create and be, Period. Without bias and built on the foundation of love and acceptance. Breathe Poetry Welcomes all of you. Whether you are reading off of your phone,your pape,or even if you have a cheat sheet written in your hand. We pride ourselves in providing the poets with the knowledge they need to turn their passion into pay. Reiterating the importance of the fact that this does not just have to be a hobby but a lifestyle providing you with the means to survive. You can do what you love for a living. We believe in you.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My poetry is basically a glimpse into my life, Hence the name PoetryLived. The name itself came about one day when me and my husband were at the park with our children. As they were playing I was taking photos. Upon looking at them I saw poetry in its purest form. Freedom, Life, Love Lived. Poetry as a living thing. And there it was as clear as day PoetryLived. And it’s been that way ever since. Oddly the name presented itself before I started performing here in Texas! I have always been a writer though since as far back as I can remember. buying Journals everywhere I went. I was always so able to put my emotions in words. I realized at one point in my life though that people did not always like to hear them what I had to say. So I began to write my thoughts as a release, My father stumbled upon one of them one day and was floored. Him finding that literally saved my life. The details of the poem are personal but yeah  He told me I should never stop writing. And here I am today. I realized then that I was seen through my words written. It felt wonderful being that I have never felt seen before, Let alone heard. I believe that I am set apart because of the heart I carry with it. My husband always says that Breathe will be eternally present and its growth is inevitable, mainly because we are not doing it for ourselves but the people. Allowing them an outlet. A place to showcase their hearts and practice courage. A place to breath. Because life can be tiring. We hope to provide rest and good vibes. Release and love! While still holding you above the standards you have made for yourself. Some of the community members call me a bully, The good kind. Because when they say they are going to write or recite I hold them accountable. I follow up! I Believe in them! Every Last one! It was not easy getting here and going forward it will not be easy. I say I quit at least twice a day, But my feelings are not as great as the calling of this community. So I can’t stop, I will not! I have learned that things will get tough. People will be mean and try to pressure you out of your position! But be persistent and push through you will come out successful on the other side. Also do not let anyone alter your vision, stand firm on what you believe despite who might try to exploit it for their own desires .If I wanted Breathe to be remembered it would be for the loving environment we create. The since of family and fellowship. and the peace we hope to provide to all poets.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ok so, I’m not native to Texas but I can give you a few places that I’ve found to be awesome while being here. So we would most def have to hit up Katz deli for breakfast. I love the French Dip not really a breakfast meal but I’m not a breakfast person. The Au Joire is amazzzziiinnnng! After that head to the woodlands. They have beautiful walking trails surrounded by trees and life. It’s beautiful. I’m Sure a hike would make you hungry so I would then say foooood timmmme again! because i’m an eater lol!. There is this spot on Veterans Memorial called Cajun Crawfish #1. No it’s not all fancy shmancy but im from the boot (Lake Charles, LA) and seafood is a must. Real liiiiiiife is the best crawfish and fried fish I’ve had in HTX! Then hangout really, might pull up on Discovery green picnic with the fam bam. Depending on the day of the week imma hit some poetry events. Breathe Poetry of course on Sundays. PoetsCorner with the homie Deuce Deuce on every other Friday. Most definitely Checking out MC Spit Kodak at the Local seat for Culture Shock Mondays. My Poetic Friend Free K has an open Mic on Tuesday at Club Riderz and Wednesdays at frozen paradise! Another Vibe is at We Go Live My Girl Poetically CourtneyLynn and Her Husband Scott Free Got something going! And whatever other stage I can Find I try to fit. Then…….. Foooood Again lol Lost and found has the best lamb chops and their pastas are a must. Either that or Turkey leg Hut! Other than that I’m homebody my babies mainly have my attention!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
If I am to shout out anyone it would be my Husband and partner in this thing Donald Jackson. He is always so supportive of any decision that I make and is willing to break his back in order to make sure that this dream comes alive. He works diligently behind the scenes with our Poetry Community and our seven kids at home and makes sure I never doubt myself. He sees me, he believes in me and he helps heal past wounds that the world doesn’t even have to see. He consistently pushes me in a positive way every time I get overwhelmed and want to give up. Had it not been for his love and support I can’t say that Breathe nor I , PoetryLived would be up and running. He saw the vision before I did and just allowed me to move. He didn’t even like poetry but because it’s built in me he now loves it. I love you Donald Dean Jackson! Thankyou for everything. Especially not giving up on my dramatic, loud,sensitive yet hard! Overbearing overprotective behind. You’re my it! Glad eternity chose us!

Instagram: @breathe_Poetryy @poetry_lived

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