For the first time, Huston-Tillotson University in Austin has name a poet laureate. 21-year old Ealyssa Cooper, or as she prefers to be called, Earl The Poet, holds the honor.
“This has opened up another world for me. It feels like I’m leaving in a dream right now,” Earl says.
She finds inspiration for her poetry in topics, from childhood experiences to sexual abuse.
“Do you remember the day you found out that you were different?” she asks her audience, as she remembers how, when she was eight years old, she felt different for having a unibrow.
Earl has found poetry to be an empowering tool.
“Over the years, I have been encouraged and inspired to continue writing because I can write my way into a better life. I can write my way into a better mood and I can share my truths.” Earl says.
Since being sexually assaulted, Earl has advocated for women’s’ rights and female empowerment through her poetry.
“Let me speak on it, like #MeToo. Let me use my platform to share.” Cooper says. “No one knows my truth and is able to share my truth like I am, and knowing that I’m able to walk forward and speak.”
She says she is using her new recognition from Huston-Tillotson to remind people of poetry.
“I wanna make sure that poetry is talked about, is written, and is appreciated,” Earl says.
By Alvaro Céspedes.