Living The Dream
by Kwame Opoku-Duku
About a year and a half ago, CCSF student April Martin Chartrand decided that she needed to leave a legacy. She had been sharing her poetry among friends and co-workers and getting positive responses, especially considering she’d essentially never taken an English class that wasn’t absolutely required for her B.A. in Creative Arts. And on top of that, she’s dyslexic.
A self-described “perfectionist to a fault,” she decided to use all of her talents to complete a project that was 20 years in the making, using over 70 poems she had written over the years, and her own illustrations. The finished product was “Angel’s Destiny,” which was written in the style of a novel, the end of each chapter leading to a new step in a spiritual journey.
The subject matter was born from an abusive marriage that Chartrand left in 1993. The poems that she wrote helped her own healing process and appeared on national television as well as radio. The four chapters of poetry, Illusions, Anger, Awareness, and Love helped her progress her journey of self-discovery and she hopes it will help the readers do the same.
When it came time to publish her finished work, Chartrand took conventional steps and began sending out queries and manuscripts but in her mind she knew that she was going to self-publish, so she could maintain complete artistic control.
“Poetry is the step-child of the publishing world and does not sell well unless you are a big name like Alice Walker or a newly selected poet laureate.” Not to mention that she included her original illustrations, clearly not the most obvious marketing decision from a new author. In the end, she chose to go it on her own and publish her book through www.createspace.com, a decision she has not regretted. Her legacy, her way.