TECUMSEH — There’s an author at Tecumseh who tops Amazon’s Newest in American Poetry and Asian American Poetry lists.
“Big Feels: I Feel Too Much” comes from local author Kyoko WP, who is her pseudonym.
“The name Kyoko actually belonged to my great aunt. My father always told me that she was one of his favorite aunts and that he wanted to give me her name. So it’s kind of a tribute to him. He died in 2003,” Kyoko said in an email. She was shy and didn’t want to do a phone interview.
She said she wanted to use a pseudonym to respect her children’s privacy.
“As they get older, they can decide how exposed they are and how their story is told,” Kyoko said.
The book’s poems are about nature, love, motherhood, grief, trauma, mental health, chronic illness and the beauty of life, Kyoko said.
Kyoko suffers from a chronic illness that causes her many problems which she does not detail, but even writing an email can be daunting at times due to migraines.
“I prefer not to go into detail, but I have a number of issues that cause me chronic pain and limit my mobility,” Kyoko said, indicating that her illness has informed her poetry. “I would say a good mix of my poems are about my health journey. Also, being sick in bed at home last year really pushed me to use my writing outlet to help me cope.
Her book ranked as Amazon’s No. 1 New Release in American Poetry and Asian American Poetry and ranked 33rd in Women’s Poetry its first week. It returned to the top spot in Asian American poetry last week.
So what does Kyoko want people to take away from her poetry?
“I write for myself as therapy. And if you feel it too, then I write for you. I want people to feel seen. I want people to know that they are not alone in their intense emotions and feelings. I want people to be able to see their emotions expressed through words. And I want people to find strength,” Kyoko said.
Kyoko has been writing all her life.
“Growing up, writing was always a source of comfort and creativity. And I decided to take it up as an outlet to express all my great feelings and explore creativity,” Kyoko said.
She said it was surreal to be published and she couldn’t imagine the success she had just a few months ago.
Its audience is “Any human person. Anyone who’s been through the love, the pain, the struggle, the motherhood…there’s literally something for everyone,” she said.
And his audience gave him overwhelming support.
“My book has been received with such kindness, understanding and love. It not only lets me know that I am not alone in my experiences, but it also lets the reader know that they are not either alone,” Kyoko said.