If recently published poet Daniel Lamboy could give aspiring writers one piece of advice, it would be to make sure you really love what you are writing.
“Throughout the process of publishing a book, you’re going to have to let a lot of people into your writing, but the most important thing is to make sure that the final project is something that you love,” said Daniel, a Grandville High School junior. “It’s about you and what you have created.”
Daniel’s newly published book, “The Fume of Fresh Ash,” is a story written as open line poetry from the perspectives of a father and a son. The book chronicles a man’s murderous intentions and the efforts of his son to stop him, all through a poetic narrative.
On Becoming a Poet
Daniel’s journey to being published started sophomore year with the discovery of his love of poetry.
“I really connected with poetry as a narrative immediately,” he said. “I was able to express myself clearly in a way that I wasn’t able to with short stories or longform stories.”
After experimenting with different forms of a poetic narrative, the idea for Daniel’s book came to him out of nowhere, he said.
“I wanted to buckle down and invest in a bigger project, but I didn’t know what that was,” he said. “I was in the shower one day and I wrote five pieces in my head, (then) wrote them down and just kept going.”
When Daniel came back to his five poems the next day, he realized he had something he wanted to invest in, he recalled. “The idea just happened. I’m not sure where it came from, but I really love where it ended up.”
Over the next four months, he expanded on his story.
“The hardest part was timing because when I was doing my final edits it was also midterm week,” he said. “I had to worry about tests, but I was also reading through my manuscript every day, making sure things were where I wanted them to be.”
Before the idea for “The Fume of Fresh Ash” came to him, Daniel attended several classes through The Diatribe, via an after-school program that facilitates creative writing workshops rooted in poetry. He made an impression on Marcel Prince, Diatribe’s executive director.
“We have the honor of working with hundreds of talented young writers every year, but Daniel is one of those very dynamic ten percent that makes you go ‘woah, this writer is going to take off,’” Prince said. “From the first time we read Daniel’s work, we knew that he was incredibly gifted, and when he told us he wanted to have his work published we knew it was going to happen.”
Daniel is currently sitting on a second manuscript in the same poetic style as his published book. He has plans to attend Grand Valley State University to study creative writing and business after he graduates from Grandville High.
“My next piece is a lot more complex, and shows a lot more confidence,” he said. “I’m really excited about it and what’s ahead for me.”