Carter County resident makes it into International Poetry Digest

Published 8:09 am Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Carter County resident Lisa Hatley said she submitted her poem to the International Poetry Digest just for the fun of it, but when they responded back saying they loved it, the game changed.

Hatley has written poems for most of her life, originally starting as a joke among her siblings.

“I only wrote for the community and my family, and now the whole world is reading them,” Hatley said.

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Eventually, even though the joke faded, she continued to write poetry over the years, but she never did anything with them until Thanksgiving in 2018, when her sister and fiancé convinced her to submit one of her pieces.

She got the reply email congratulating her three days later, and so her first official publication came out in the February edition of the International Poetry Digest.

Since then, another publication, From the Heart, has also asked to publish her work in their poetry collection, and both publications have worked with her on securing copyright for her work.

“I thought it was a joke, but the editors there loved it,” she said.

Hatley said writing the poems is relatively simple for her, once she actually finds the time needed to do so, which she said is the real challenge.

“Once I sit down, it all comes,” Hatley said. “I just have to find the time.”

For Hatley, her poems are as much therapy for herself as they are for those who read them. She said she lived a “troubled” life, which has shaped the way she looks at her writing.

“I got arrested a lot, and I did drugs and alcohol,” she said. “I never thought I would do something so meaningful. I just needed to take the chance.”

She said the beauty of what she writes comes from other people’s ability to read and understand it, no matter who they are.

“Every one of them is different,” Hatley said. “It is about how people perceive it, because what I write, it is just my life.”

Currently, she said she is working on a short story for another submission, which is a different beast entirely.

She said seeing the success of her poems after all these years practicing has given her a new outlook on her life.

“Maybe this has been my calling all along,” Hatley said. “The choices I made were not great, but they are why I am here today.”