Jaycee: Believe me the pleasure is mine. Congrats on your collection of poetry. Is this your first release or have your been published before?
Sequoia Neff: This is my first poetry publication, actually my background is in music. I've been writing songs and lyrics for years.
Jaycee: So how did the "Diary of Woman" come about?
Sequoia Neff: I've always written poetry. It started with my Mom and my Grandmother who both encouraged me to write. I've been writing since I was about eight years old. So, I was writing about things that are close to my heart and my Husband was the one who said that I needed to put these poems in a book.
Jaycee: Is "Dairy of a Woman" a new Feminist manifesto?
Sequoia Neff: When I named the collection "The Diary of a Woman" I thought about what that title may invoke but no it's not feminist poetry, it's my personal story. This is poetry that I would hope that my Daughter and Sons would read. These are the stories of my Sisters, My Mother, Grandmother, my friends. You don't have to BE a Woman to enjoy my poetry or relate to the stories in the collection cause Men will find that they can relate to these stories too.
"Daddy's Little Girl"
Excerpts from The Diary of a Woman
I have never experienced any Father/Daughter traditions
I was never Daddy's little girl
because you denied me a Father from the moment I entered the world
But I know, that I'm worth someone loving, even if, to you I don't belong
though your words left unspoken, left my heart broken it gave me reason to be strong...
Jaycee: Whew! Cool, I thought It was gonna be a real Man basher! (Laughter)
Sequoia Neff: Noooooo! (Laughter) It's not a Man basher! The poems share a strong Woman's opinion and tell a true story. That's the important part. If I write a poem about a relationship gone bad, It's not bashing Men cause a Woman wrote it! The reader can feel the power and truth in the words that surpasses gender.
Jaycee: What inspires you to write?
Excerpts from The Diary of a Woman
I was hanging out with some friends when you approached me
I could tell you liked what you saw they way you looked at me
Cracked a few jokes and made a Sister giggle, said you just wanted to hang but I knew you wanted
wiggle. I didn't want to seem forward, so I gave a little chase
but you put forth the effort, so I gave you a little taste
Sequoia Neff: Everything! I grew up reading everything. My Mother and Grandmother encouraged me to read everything, to look around and take in everything so it comes out in my writing.
Jaycee: Who are some of your favorite poets or writers?
Sequoia Neff: Well, I've read Langston Hughes but I can't say that I read one specific poet or type of poetry. I think that what I have written is wholly original. It's raw and unique.
Jaycee: Well, upon reading a few of your pieces and listening to you recite a few. I hear Sonia Sanchez's style cadence in your work. Your visuals are very earthly and powerful. Had your listened or read Sonia?
Excerpt from the Diary of a Woman
I remember when I first met you
The tingly feeling when you touched me
the anticipation of you making love to me
I was so into you....
I remember when I first fell in love
the void I felt when you weren't around me
So happy that you found me I couldn't get enough...
Sequoia Neff: No, I haven't. Writing is something that I've always done, that's why I say my style if I have one is original because I didn't study the forms or attempt to pattern myself in a style or like another poet. Does that make sense?
Jaycee: Actually, it does. Your method is wholly organic. Cool! So what's next?
Sequoia Neff: Well, I've really been promoting the book. I'm thankful because the response has been amazing!
Jaycee: So, will we be seeing another poetry collection or perhaps some fiction?
Sequoia Neff: I coach the kids on the Long Beach No Limit Track Club and I dedicate alot of time to that but I have a few musical projects that I will be involved in. I hope to have them released soon. (I am working on a "part 2" to "The Diary of a Woman" and I will be including other woman writers, and they will tell their story. I am also working on a novel right now)
Jaycee: Sequoia, thank you for sharing with us at the Kongo Square Chat. Blessings to you and your family. Where can folks grab the book?
Sequoia Neff: You can purchase the book through www.sequoianeff.com or if you have a Facebook page, you can order through my profile page on Facebook. Also please check out the Long Beach No Limit Track Club, out website is www.longbeachnolimit.com. Our athletes are between the ages of 5-17 all donations are appreciated!
This is Mista Jaycee signing off until next time.
BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!
All Poetry contained in this interview is Copyright of Sequoia Neff. All Rights Reserved. All interviews and material contained in A Choice of Weapons is Copyright and property of Mista Jaycee. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission only.