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The Personhood Project Episode 6: Vincent Cooper

In this episode, guest Vincent Cooper welcomes host Aaron Tyler Hand into his home to discuss being inspired by the places they grew up, fostering a dedication to poetry without taking any college classes, finding time to write when you have a life outside of writing, and the ways in which writing can help bring people closer together.



Vincent Cooper

[Poetry] gives me that release that I need, that fulfillment.

Poems:


My Friend David


The man who tears me from the streets of

Hell into his home of hope and safety


He became a Priest but died too soon as

a father figure that will be missed


Untitled


WE FACE THINGS IN LIFE THAT SEEM HARSH AT TIMES

AND THE CLEAR MESSAGE IS HINDSIGHT, THE LESSON AND MEANING

SO WHEN LIFE TAKES YOU PLACES YOU DIDN’T INTEND TO BE

JUST KNOW YOU’LL SEE LESSON AND REASON IN THE FUTURE


I Remember


Stronger than life itself, softer

than a baby’s milky breath

always so kind and tender

dear grandma I remember. Sitting

in the kitchen in the early morn

the smell of frying bacon blesses

my nose fresh juice dancing

in the blender through blurry

eyes I remember. Hard to

believe that it has been so

very long, but still you’re

larger than life, mystique

carries on through many

trials to navigate without

your wisdom

and truth, I won't falter

or surrender because

of what I remember


Deep Circle

The good old Deep Circle

A street that always has movement

this street located in the south part of

town in its own little town of Austin

where kids can ride up and down the

street, everyone basically knows everyone

with its easy access to the other major streets

that provide an outlet from the simple

life where trouble can begin


Elderberry


The street is long

The trees were abundant

We had a basketball hoop

Where I cracked my head

Across the street from the

Lady with the silk worms

In her tree that blocked the

Sidewalk. Kim and Jeff

Lived in the cul de sac

They taught me how to roll

Cigarettes on a legal pad and

Do flips on their trampoline

The C-Mart was

Behind us and the store

Owner chased us off for

throwing condiment packs

Against the side wall.

That was my street…

Elderberry



Writing Prompts:

  1. Vincent Cooper uses his Untitled poem to reflect on the street that he grew up on. While times might have been rough, he uses the sights and sounds of his neighborhood to celebrate it and the joyous times that were had there. What was the street/neighborhood like that you grew up on? Talk about the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of that street/neighborhood at that time. Write a poem that focuses on the happy moments so that you live in them once again.

  2. Do Not Resuscitate is a poem about the emotional weight associated with losing your loved ones. In sharing the losses that his grandma has faced, Cooper is giving insight into many tragedies that have faced his family. With this in mind, write a poem about the important people in your life who you have lost. While you talk about the pain of losing them, don’t forget to celebrate their lives and share how important they were to you.

  3. In Barrio in Heaven, Cooper imagines a party or family reunion with his loved ones that are in heaven. He imagines conversations he would have with him if/when he gets to meet them again. He focuses on the delights that they would share and the traits that he misses of theirs that he knows they would still have. Use this concept to write a poem about what you would do with and say to a loved one who has passed if you got to see them again.


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