By Elisabeth Shirley
Valerie Currie, self-proclaimed prolific creative and activist, is a strategic communications major anticipating graduating this December. Along with graduation, a huge feat alone, she also plans to release her first poetry novel.
The Bottle is a poetry book composed of over 130 works of prose written over a span of more than six years. For Currie, it is an accumulation of her own personal growth and success.
“I had so many poems written out from over the years and I saw a theme of a sort of coming-of-age story,” Currie said. “I was coming out of my shell and realizing there’s a strength in talking about your emotions.”
Poetry for her was a passion long in the making, starting with reading beloved works like Cat in the Hat as a child that diverged into heavier works by Ernest Hemingway, Ralph Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe and more.
“Poetry has always been a way to self-express for me and I’ve always found a way to find myself in a poem or relate to one. It wasn’t hard for me to find a passion for writing it myself.”
Reflecting her emotions and feelings, Currie wanted to create something that others could relate to.
“I feel like the audience for The Bottle is overthinkers. The way that I write is very much just me overthinking things. It’s also for people who struggle with mental health and things like that.”
Currie has also taken up the task of self-publishing, making the process all the more strenuous.
“The most challenging part of the process has been painstakingly editing every page. Because I’m self-publishing, I don’t have an editor, so it’s all just me and a couple of friends who I get to help me peer review it.”
As a shy child, writing poetry was her way of journaling her bottled up emotions. As she looked through her older works, she realized she could see her own growth through her writing.
“For the actual syntax of the book, it follows three parts. Those poems guide the reader and you can see this character shaping and step into their own power.”
Currie also enjoys writing music and does that in addition to her writing. While pursuing her hobbies and classes, she is working as an intern for Shanghai Nobby’s, where she takes photos and helps maintain their social media.
“I’m really ambitious and have a lot of things I want to do. Nothing’s really stopping me.”
Currie leads as an example for our potential as young, innovative students. It is easy to feel as though our work is valueless unless we have a degree. This applies to students especially like Currie whose major doesn’t pertain to creative fields like poetry or music.
“I think college really exists to broaden your horizons and explore new interests. Creative endeavors shouldn’t be halted by your major or professional experience.”
The Bottle is anticipated to release on December 16. As of current, it will be available for digital purchase on Amazon and hopefully make its way to bookstores.
For updates on The Bottle: