Poems reflect author’s musings
The hometown of Chicago didn’t suit 14-year-old Michelle Huggins. She left the Windy City for Vernal, Utah 33 years ago for a better life.
Her reason for leaving "wasn’t anything particularly dramatic, other than being a teenager," Huggins said.
Living with her grandparents in Vernal didn’t satisfy her either. It wasn’t long before she moved into an apartment of her own at 15. It’s not easy for a young teenager to support herself, but she kept food in her stomach by working overnight at a truck stop. At times it was lonely and difficult, but her experiences as a young woman shaped her life and drove her toward her passion of writing.
"Writing offered an outlet to vent on what was going on," Huggins said.
Huggins, 47, made a success out of her situation. She put herself through school, eventually earning an MBA through Westminster College.
Huggins, a four-year resident who has operated Deer Creek Title since 1999, just published her second book of poetry titled "Perfect Disorder." It follows her first book "Confessions of an Angry Woman" that came out last year. She will have a book signing at The Spotted Frog Bookstore Dec. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Her poems are a collection of writings that she collected over the years.
"I have volumes of random meanderings and short stories here and there," Huggins said.
Her poems span subjects from mermaids to rape, "anything that has an emotional trigger. Something that’s impacted you or caused some sentiment," Huggins said. "Some are very edgy, some whimsical, some about current events. Some are angry and some don’t sound angry. Some are about the sadness of things passing."
Her musings write about her approach to the world concerning family, politics, relationships and tragedies that she said, are full of depth and meaning. Many of her poems explore the human nature and her observations about the world. For her it is somewhat of a diary of her thoughts in a book that she would rate PG-13.
"I pull out different emotions and color my life with words and paint it with grace," she said.
Huggins said the subject of her writing depends on the day she’s scratching with a pen. She said it would be similar to someone putting an ink-blot in front of her face. At any given time, she would see something differently.
"It puts some logical sequence to nebulous ideas," Huggins said. It’s a poetic journal of events, people and analysis of personal dynamics and relationships."
There are many types of poetic styles now, but Huggins prefers classic styles that rhyme.
"Mine are more lyrical and prose type," Huggins said. "I err on the side of sing-song that tends to flow. I’m a big lyric person in song."
Because her poems are usually deeply emotional, she was hesitant to publish first book.
"Initially, when I realized I actually had it out there, I wished I could retract it and pull it back," Huggins said.
However, she also hopes her work will be appreciated by readers.
"I don’t want to be an exhibitionist," Huggins said, "but (as an artist) you put it out there whether they like it or not. Even if I do one poem that’s really good, that’d be worth it, even if it’s just a few poignant thoughts," she added.
Huggins recognizes that, as a writer, criticism may be inflicted upon her, but for her, any criticism is an opportunity to grow.
"You do it knowing that you will hear the lowest responses," Huggins said. "You can’t grow unless people mirror back what you don’t see. Everything about who you are is subject to criticism."
Her novel "Perfect Disorder" is part two of three and further reflects her continual growth.
"They are all phases of my life development," Huggins said, "the way it transpires from the earliest poems to now. It’s a progression of self and the passage of time. The new one adds a little more depth to where I was already headed."
The Spotted Frog Bookstore will host a book signing for Michelle Huggins Dec. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 575-2665.
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Summit County heard from the Park City Community Foundation that the county’s $1 million grant last year likely helped hundreds of people avoid homelessness. The nonprofit’s representatives said open lines of communication were key to ensuring that grant money went where it was needed. | Courtesy of the Park City Community Foundation