A Bit About Me

Hello!

As I’m new to the WordPress platform, I thought it appropriate not only to begin posting some of my work but to introduce myself properly. My name is Brandon White; I’m a poet, songwriter, and digital artist from the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. I’m a husband, father of twin girls, dog daddy, and a bit of an obsessive creative.

I began my work at the age of 14 (I’m 34 now) after falling in love with the craft of songwriting. I would spend the next eleven years of my life pursuing my musical goals, meeting and working with some amazing people, playing a ton of shows, and raging against the unfair practices of the music business while also wishing for my turn in the spotlight.

After marrying my lovely wife, Kenzie, in 2012, I would continue to pursue my musical dreams until 2016, when tragic circumstances befell my family. My father, my best friend, was diagnosed with cancer for a second time. His first brush with lymphoma came around the time that Kenzie and I were married. He made his way to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, began treatment, and breezed through it as if cancer were nothing more than a common cold. He would walk the halls with Black Sabbath blaring on his iPhone and never missed an opportunity to remind someone that he was, in fact, the real Iron Man.

After his cancer returned in 2016, he approached treatment with the same confidence. Sadly, his situation became increasingly more complicated, which resulted in his fight lasting months on end and his body and mind suffering the devastating effects of both the disease and treatment. It was also during this challenging time that Kenzie and I discovered we were parents-to-be, to which my Father said, “It’s sure going to be funny when it’s twins!”

I still don’t know how he knew, and I’m sure there’s plenty of you who’re thinking “coincidence,” but I feel relatively confident that somehow he knew more than we did. When I called him to confirm that his “joke” had been established as our reality, he rallied himself once more to meet his newest grandbabies. We would have two more years together.

When Dad’s cancer recurred a third time, he chose not to seek treatment. His mind, his body, his spirit, were worn down, and he knew his fight was over. My Mother, Mother-In-Law, and I became his end-of-life care team, and we worked around-the-clock to ensure his comfort and that he was surrounded by love. It was during this challenging period that poetry came into my life. I began writing at a furious pace to make sense of my emotions and cope.

Dad and I at a Bruce Springsteen concert in St Louis, Missouri. Our final Father/Son trip. March 2016.

My father died on February 27th, 2019. I sat by his side, holding his hand as he took his final breath. If it weren’t for my wife, children, and my poetry, I’m not sure what would’ve become of me after such a devastating loss. I began to throw myself into my writing even more, and as the year passed, it became apparent that a body of work was taking shape—a tribute to my father and my journey through the grieving process. I wanted to send these poems into the world in hopes that they would reach all the faraway places he never saw and hopefully provide some comfort to those who’d inevitably find themselves in my position.

I began to make it known that I was seeking a publisher for the collection, and not long after, the universe sent me the perfect partner in tara caribou and Raw Earth Ink. tara worked tirelessly to help bring the project together. She listened patiently to my concerns and hopes for the work, never stopping short of achieving my vision. With tara’s expertise and my poetry, May of 2020 saw the release of my debut, The Year that Stole the Light Away.

Born from my greatest heartbreak, the feedback I’ve gotten from the book has been so wonderful. I’ve achieved my goal of seeing my poetry reach some of the world’s most beautiful places, and I am grateful that it’s found a home in the lives of others. I hope it remains a sturdy companion for years to come.

So, after spending the majority of 2020 promoting the book as much as this crazy year would allow, I now near the publication of my second collection, which I’m excited to share more about when appropriate. I hope to carve a place out for myself on this platform and look forward to connecting with you. On my page, you’ll find several poems for your enjoyment, along with a gallery of some of my digital art. I also plan to discuss other works I’ve enjoyed along with music that inspires me; who knows what else?

Talk Soon,

Brandon

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14 Comments

  1. wow! now i begin to understand the power of community & selfless sharing🙏🏼 i am very heartened & inspired by all this sharing & the kind & helpful comments that have come about. thank you , Brandon for the sincere communication. as a newcomer to wordpress myself, i have found it very helpful. 🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼joy gates

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharing your heart always brings great reward. Congratulations on such a worthwhile project seen through to fruition! Fellow Arkansan here! Glad to have found you on the Phoebe MD showcase! I look forward to reading and following you for your future posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When I started to write (songs, lyrics, and poetry), it was for myself, as therapy. I decided to publish as a way for my words to help-or just entertain-others.

    You wrote: “…the feedback I’ve gotten from the book has been so wonderful. I’ve achieved my goal of seeing my poetry reach some of the world’s most beautiful places, and I am grateful that it’s found a home in the lives of others. I hope it remains a sturdy companion for years to come.” is how I feel. It brings a smile to my face when a reader enjoys or is moved by my words.

    Writing is powerful, and it is more powerful when it is shared.

    Leon

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Brandon, I think you’ll find the WordPress community is really really great. Very supportive and friendly, if I do say so myself! Thank you for the honor of allowing me to publish your book. I am constantly humbled and inspired by you.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The trick, so they say, is to read, follow, and comment on other people’s stuff. That helps you be seen. I have found the lion’s share of those I follow just by seeing great comments from people on other people’s blogs! Also, publishing regularly is recommended. I can attest to that. If you post sporadically, then the readership goes down. I highly highly recommend scheduling posts ahead of time. This will keep you “on schedule”.

        So say I have a week where I write twenty pieces… I’ll schedule them all out at the regular intervals, rather than a bunch at one time. I found (some years ago) that posting too often is also harmful. So the recommendation is once a week up to seven times a week, with most people finding 3-5 posts a week being optimum. I went a full year where I posted six days a week, twice a day. Then I backed off to once a day and it made zero difference in my readership. This year has been awkward for me, but prior to early-2020 (I went through a person experience/transformation in March of 2020 that completely changed who I am) I was posting four times a week quite happily.

        Growth on WordPress tends to be a little slow for the first few months. But the key is not “likes” or comments… the more important thing is READERSHIP, that is, how many VIEWS you are getting. Those are your readers. Many people read without hitting that like button (hell, I read blogs for YEARS without once “liking” one… it wasn’t until four years ago that I really thought about how important clicking that little star/heart can be to a creator).

        Anyway, hope that helps!

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Hi Brandon, wow that post left me speechless and almost teary! Lovely to make your acquaintance. Like you I love poetry and writing in general, and do music as well. I’ll keep checking out your blog and have a listen to your music. My blog is wordsandfeelings.video.blog if you’re curious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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