Tammy Jones will talk about her new book, “My Different Walks of Life,” which will include some readings of her poems. The event begins at 5 p.m.
Those stories along with U.S. events, from the Trayvon Martin case to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, are poetically told in her newly-published book.
“Along my life, I have met some extraordinary people, who have taught me different things,” Jones said.
One of the poems is dedicated to her grandmother and there is her eulogy to a dear friend who was murdered by the father of her children.
From rhyming poems to the style of spoken word, Jones uses creativity to take readers on her walk in life, offering up a glimpse at some of the lessons, morals and memories she gained along the way. “When the Cell Gate Closes” looks at the perspective of the prisoners who are locked up and what happens in jail.
Jones said she began writing more when she started working at the jail. She would watch the inmates and talk to them. Before long, she was writing their stories, inspired by tales of broken homes, addiction, abuse and grief.
“Getting to know the inmates and their stories, I just started writing about them,” she said. “…When I worked in corrections, I wasn’t there to judge anybody. I was there for care, custody and control.”
She would read her poems to the inmates, and believes along the way, she touched some lives.
Jones has entries on cancer, race and even tackles sexuality with her poems, having met many who are gay, lesbian and transgender. She opens up about the experiences with her poem “The Life in Pretty Shoes,” where she compares sexuality to a pair of shoes.
“People judge sexuality and the Bible teaches you not to judge,” Jones said. “A lot of this book is teaching people not to judge.”
Working at the jail, Jones said she was able to observe different behaviors, “raw and uncut” and she learned a lot from others.
“The people I met inspired me to write,” she said. “There are poems in there about addiction. You don’t know why a person becomes an addict. You don’t know what they went through in their life. Everybody handles pain and grief differently.”
The 104-page book opens with the poem “Blessing,” a piece Jones wrote about herself that talks about feeling discouraged at one time.
“I had this gift, but I let a lot of things discourage me.”
In addition to poems, Jones does other creative writing, such as song writing and greeting cards. Jones is now a counselor working with children and youth who have special needs and behavioral diagnoses. She recently appeared Saturday night on IHeartRadio in New York City, for an interview about her book.
A few copies of the book will be available for purchase Wednesday. The book is also available on Amazon and in Kindle version.
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