I’ve always liked the fact that no one teaches a flower to bloom. It simply drinks the rain and eats the sun; stomachs both, and finds beauty in every part of growing. This is art. This is mastery. This is divine. This is life. -@Q.Gibson
Gibson is a writer and artist born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Her recent debut collection of poetry and prose “The Flowering Woman: Becoming and Being” has invited many women to heal and journey themselves through literature. Expanding to over five countries and reaching hundreds of women in its first few months, Q’s mission towards empowering and promoting transparency in womanhood is becoming a fulfilling reality. As the middle sister of five women Q. has built her passions around producing creative works that serves to nurture women of diverse backgrounds as well as the African-American culture. As a mother to one son, she currently works full-time in digital media and juggles life as a writer and creative. With a promising future as a writer for the women of our generation she focuses on themes such as femininity, violence, oppression, self-discovery, gender sentimentality, community and more. Gibson is set to release her second collection of work entitled “The Sweetness in Soil” later this year.
What led you to write The Flowering Woman?
Prior to writing the book, I’d been writing pieces here and there and had a collection of other small works in several places. I’d just been in a space where I was tired of succumbing to the fear of sharing my thoughts and emotions aloud. I knew I had a lot that I wanted to share in my writing and poetry and it was just a natural feeling at the time to begin to construct my first collection.
The title was inspired by my love for flowers and plant life, as well as the many comparisons I see between humans and flowers, especially women. Flowers go through so much to grow but we often only see them for their beauty. Flowers are also fragile yet they withstand a lot, I find that very expressive of women as well. The process of coming into our own as women takes planting, being rooted, budding, blossoming; we are constantly flowering into the women we are destined to become
What was your favorite chapter to write and when you read back, which chapter speaks the loudest to you?
“Healing, Grieving & Growing” was my favorite chapter to write. It holds a lot of grief in it and I find that part of it beautiful. Some of the pieces in that chapter I was very afraid of writing due to the fact I was sharing about domestic violence and abuse I’d watched my mother experience growing up and into adulthood. I was uncovering feelings I’d never knew I had and some I never addressed out of either resentment or mourning.
That same chapter spoke loudest to me because I also had a chance to see why I used so many things in my life as a defense mechanism towards love. I’d subconsciously built up a wall against so many things due to the hurt my mother had experienced herself. Then again that chapter also served as a reassurance that ugly things can teach us and that it is ok to open up and share our stories and the stories of others (at their approval) to spark healing and transformation in someone else’s lives. It reassured me that even the dark moments have purpose even though we may not understand at the given moment.
If you could go back, is there an aspect of your book you’d change?
I don’t think I would change anything about the book. I wrote this out of a raw and pure space allowing myself to just “be” during the process and I am proud of myself for that. I think with life as a writer it is easy to go back and talk about the things we could have or should have changed long after the process, but maybe it’s best to allow things to be what they are respective to when they were created. I think that allows me not only to track my growth as a writer but as a human being in general. This time around I am just focused on making my next book something that is also as filling and raw in nature.
What feedback have you received from your readers?
The feedback for me has been astonishing. Most of it has come from women who have reached out either via social media, text or email and I’ve also been receiving some lovely reviews that I am honored to have. It’s funny that a lot of the women have stated “It’s like you wrote this for me”. They get a sense in some of the pieces that I am speaking directly to or about them, and I just smile. When a woman can find herself anywhere in those pages I know I have crossed the threshold from merely relating to them to healing and having a solitary conversation through my literature. It’s truly filling.
Are there authors you would recommend to fans of your books, books you love yourself?
Ah yes. I love so many but I am constantly trying to indulge in the classics. It is something about studying writers who have mastered longevity and timelessness through their works. It gives me hope that in this day and age my work can withstand the evolutions of technology and literature. Some writers I absolutely recommend are Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. I’m currently re-reading Jazz for the third time this year and I’m also currently reading Once: Poems by Alice Walker.
You’re currently working on a new book, can you tell us more about that?
My upcoming book is called “The Sweetness in Soil” and it is truly a dissection of the ways our environment has effect on us as women. Moreover it is a genuine look into the realities of growing up woman in a rugged inner-city environment especially as African-American woman. It explores the narrative of inner-city women and spans themes of growth, survival, mental health, kinship, culture and triumph. It is more expansive in length and I am currently building upon the inclusion of poetic short stories into the work.
Where do you see yourself in the future as a writer and creative?
In the future I would hope to have built upon my works creating words and imagery that withstand era. As a self-published writer I am looking to have a few works traditionally published and extend myself into the literary world as a historical addition. I want to continue to create what moves people and what moves with time. In the future I see myself continuing to create books and visual art well into my old age, and living happily while doing so.
Get a copy of ‘The Flowering Woman’ here.
Visit Q.Gibson at www.qgibson.com