Author Spotlight – Fanicia Howard

 Fanicia Howard is a 30 year old native of Chicago, Illinois. Since childhood, Howard has always embraced her passion for expression of art through her poetry.  

 After graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 2013 with a Bachelors degree in English, Howard began the journey of crafting her first chapbook.         

 She officially released her debut chapbook of poetry, Letters to an Anonymous Heart in 2017 followed by her second chapbook, Heartstrings in 2019.   


 What is your genre? What draws you to this genre?

My genre is poetry. What drew me to this genre was the freedom to break away from most grammar rules when expressing myself. Poetry is a versatile literary genre. Generally, there is no right or wrong way to express thought in a poem. I can choose to rhyme or I can choose free verse, I can choose to make my poem twelve line stanzas ,or I can choose to make a powerful poem in less than thirteen syllables. I find so much beauty in the freedom of writing poetry.

-What is your purpose?

My purpose is to use poetry to connect individuals through, common experiences, emotions, and ideas- which unify us all within the human experience of living life.

-Who has influenced your life as an author?

Rudy Francisco, Nayyirah Waheed , Warsan Shire and Counter Cullen.

-What is your favorite marketing technique? How do you get your book in front of readers?

Social media is primarily how I market my chapbooks. Luckily for me as a millennial, the technology is right at the grasp of my fingertips I most of my marketing can be done by the press of a button. My main followings are split between Facebook and Instagram and I find it most efficient to keep my page public and add hashtags when uploading content related to my poetry. I’m not an expert on algorithms, but adding the hashtags has helped me make tremendous strides in advertising because it’s drawn like minded people towards my poetry and intrigued them to want to search my page for more details.

-What is something you want readers to know about you?

I’m very unorthodox when it comes to having a specific method and schedule for writing. I like to do things in the moment when the feelings are raw and organic. In my opinion, poetry’s first job pulls for emotions. That is also what I’m drawn to and look for from the reader’s perspective as well. I want to feel the words. I want to connect with the emotions.

-What are you reading right now?

Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo written by the late playwright, Ntozake Shange.

-3 Fun facts about yourself

  • My favorite literary device to use in my poetry is personification.
  • In school I excelled in Language Arts, Spanish and Social Studies, but I struggled in Math and Science.
  • Sophomore year of college, I had an assignment in my Literary Forms class to analyze a poem, song, or passage and pick out the uses of similes, metaphors, apostrophes, etc.  I chose to analyze r&b singer Oleta Adams song, “Get Here”. Easy A!

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