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Valerie Nifora – I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry 

I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry by Valerie Nifora is a journey into romance, love and loss through poetry. Handwritten in a journal and hidden away until this publication, the poems chronicle the journey into and out of love. Written in three parts, the book enables the reader to transverse the intensity of romantic love, from the first moment of falling in love, to the intense pain of heartbreak.

I caught up with Valerie to find out more.

The collection was written over 15 years, which is a long time. What made you stick with it?

I really didn’t have a choice. It was how I would deal with the realities of my life. I would be deep in a thought or an emotion, and then this pattern would form and then these words would come, and the only way to stop thinking about it was to write it down and release it.

Your career has been as a ghostwriter – are there any similarities in each craft?

Ghostwriting is a lot of fun. If you do it right, you essentially write as another person. You take on his character. You listen intently to his word choice and his manner of speaking. You hear this other person in your head, and  you write the words you think he would say. It’s a bit like acting. For my poetry, it’s entirely me. It’s my voice, my thoughts, my experiences.

Is poetry the most natural way to explore the theme of love?

I think love is such a complicated human emotion and concept that it can be explored in many ways. There are romance novels, paintings, movies, plays, etc.  Poetry is just how I explore it. It’s my way of expression.

How do you stop yourself from being cliched?

I just try hard to be authentic and true to myself, and then my craft follows.

Your book explores the relationship between the natural elements with the emotions of love – can you explain this?

There are many poems throughout the book that reference the ocean, the moon, the wind, etc. These are parts of nature that I gravitate towards. And so when you read the poems, you’ll see me talk about nature,  sometimes in a joyful way and other times to represent loss.

Do you now call yourself a poet?

This is a very fair question, as I’ve been struggling with this label quite a bit. I supposed publishing a book of poetry that, knock wood, so far, is well received makes me a poet. I think of myself more of a storyteller. I’m just telling a story with each poem using a limited number of words and hoping it resonates. But, I suppose I could try on the word for a little bit and see how it fits.

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