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Today in the Writer Spotlight: Ricki Nelson!

For those who don’t know, tell us a little about yourself! How old are you, where are you from, and where did you grow up? (Share a fun fact about your hometown!)

I’m 23 years old. I was born in Virginia, but I come from a military family. I lived in Japan for four years, and after that, my family and I moved to North Carolina where I’ve lived ever since. I currently live in Wilmington aka Wilmywood. Iron Man 3, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Conjuring were all filmed here.

When did you realize that you had a love for poetry, or writing in general?

I wrote my first book in Kindergarten for show ‘n’ tell, and ever since then, I’ve had a love for storytelling. During my sophomore year of college, I started writing and performing poetry as a way to express myself and process the world around me.

Are there any Black icons that inspire you?

Viola Davis is one of my favorite Black icons! I was fortunate enough to work for her production company a few years back as well. I also am greatly inspired by Lucille Clifton’s work as a poet and the one and only Issa Rae.

Do you have any published or upcoming books?

I don’t have any published books, but you can check out my latest published short story “She Fed Me Sweet Potatoes” for the online publication Press Pause Press.

If you could use any song or music artist to describe your poetry, what or who would it be?

I honestly can’t think of one. However, as a poet, I have been experimenting with combining my poetry with music. I have a piece titled “Call it An Apology: A Letter to My Ex” that I made with original music done by a good friend of mine.

What are some of your favorite poetry books? Fiction/ non-fiction books?

Black Girl Call Home by Jasmine Mans

Do you have any other hobbies or businesses besides writing?

Acting, dancing, filmmaking, and traveling

Has the pandemic challenged you professionally?

It has. I’m not one for isolation, but it forced a season of introspection that has helped me grow more in touch with my voice as a writer.

What advice would you give young Black girls who dream of becoming writers?

Say what you mean. Don’t be afraid to write authentically, because you, your feelings, your words, and your stories are all valid and better yet they are needed. You are allowed to be all that you are.

Where can readers keep up with you on social media?

You can follow my writing @rickiwrites and my personal life @rickisaurusrix.

Anything else you would like to share/promote?

You can also find me on YouTube at Ricki Nelson!

Check out her winning poem "I Am Not Your Black Girl" in The Black Girl Poetry Scrapbook!

Want to be featured in the writer spotlight? Visit the submission page!

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