We had the good fortune of connecting with Fanicia Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fanicia, how do you think about risk?
I believe risks are essential for growth. Becoming an independent poet, writer, and author was unfamiliar territory when I first decided to release my body of works. The risks I take is having to wear multiple hats: I am the creator, I market, I brand, I promote, I furnish and replenish my own product, and I manage my business’s finances. I am solely responsible for the direction of where I take my art and I constantly take leaps of faith knowing I have to create the security blanket and it is not handed or waiting for me. The great thing I have learned while taking risks is that consistently pushing my poetry reinforces the belief that my art form has a place in this world and that I should always be an advocate for my art and my voice. The risks become rewarding when you know your purpose and you diligently work towards showcasing your gift/s in every way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I describe my chapbooks as poetry that explore topics such as religion, sexuality, heartbreak, restoration, empowerment, romance, and freedom. What I believe makes my art form unique is how I use poetry as medium to connect individuals through, common experiences, emotions, and ideas- which unify us all within the human experience of living life. My earliest start to my professional writing career began during my matriculation in undergraduate studies at Clark Atlanta University. I took up an internship as a staff writer for INSPIRE Magazine in 2012 and developed various pieces of creative writing diligently. During this time, I began to understand my calling was to become an author and that poetry was the literary form that would give me an artistic voice. It has not been the easiest journey, and I consistently have to be willing to be flexible with ideas and scheduling because I still support myself with a full time job as well as support my poetry as an independent artist. However, the most rewarding aspect that I take pride in is seeing how people are moved by the words of my poems and the testimonials about how my journey inspired them to write and tell their own stories. This experience has taught me to how to challenge myself and to be fearless in what I write and how I choose to write and present it. No one can tell my stories in verse as I do and that is my power.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As I’m getting older I have become more at peace being in nature. I would take a good friend. I would love to take my best friend to idyllic scenery such Cascade Nature Reserves in Southwest Atlanta or to see the artwork down at the Beltline in the Old Fourth Ward. I’m also a lover of all things that align with self care so a spa day at Sole Spa in Buckhead would definitely be on the to-do list with priority. My friends are similar to me so breakfast and brunch would be a priority on the list as well. I would recommend a brunch date to Milk and Honey which is also in the Southwest Atlanta area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give recognition to my friends and my family who have always made an effort to sincerely understand me, respect my art, and support my dreams- whether it be financially or emotionally.