I was born on the beautiful isle of Trinidad, West Indies, and migrated to the United States in the late 1960’s.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I live in a small town in Central New Jersey, a thirty-minute drive to the Jersey Shore. The town borders three other towns. My street is a main thoroughfare that connects two highways that run through the town. Across the street from my development, is one of the adjoining towns. When I first moved there about thirty years ago, there were only street lights on my town’s side of the street. For reasons unknown, the other town did not supply lights on their side. It’s a very wide street, and at night was quite dark. One evening a young man walking to the store was struck and killed in a vehicular accident. The deceased boy’s mother championed the town to add street lights in her son’s honor. She was adamant that her child’s death would have purpose. It’s how street lights came to be on both sides of my street.
What turns you on creatively?
I am very excited by my first drafts, because they only require pen and paper without any thought or consideration, yet, they provide amazing opportunities for me to create meaningful work that allows me to consider myself a poet.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
So many words show up often in my writings, but I don’t have a favorite one per se. But, there is one that I feel whenever I’m around my favorite dogwood tree. It’s Mystical.
Standing in your presence whether you’re fully bloomed or you’ve shed your leaves in Autumn I feel something mystical in our connection.
What is your pet peeve?
Any book that I abandon before getting to its end because it’s poorly written. If I cannot connect with the book after reading one third of its content that’s a pet peeve.
What defines Sheila Henry?
How I make others feel is what defines me. I have never taken myself seriously. And my intention is always to spread Joy at every meeting and at every connection. I am not saying it works that way all the time, but the intent is always there. I know I am not everyone’s taste of sake.
OCTOBER 2020 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords Press
On Trinidad, the larger island of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is where Sheila was born. After a rewarding childhood, she migrated to the United States in the summer of 1969. Soon thereafter she became a Naturalized Citizen. Though she never took a Poetry class, her passion for poetry compelled her to a prolific self scholarship. Sheila resides in New Jersey where she spends her time enjoying her grandchildren and preparing her collection of poetry for publication. Sheila Henry’s writing style can best be categorized as Visual Poetry, blending emotion and vision into a poem or story of color. Her poems and short stories are featured at Spillwords Publications, Literary Yard, Sweetycat Press and other publications.