‘Life Twice Grown’: La Jollan publishes memoirs as poetry
La Jolla resident Lauren Poole has authored her first book, a collection of poems that serve as a memoir of survival and hope.
The anthology, titled “Life Twice Grown,” is “an organization of moments in my life,” Poole said. It’s borne of experiences the 28-year-old processed through writing.
Poole grew up in Tennessee and later moved to Florida, where as a teenager she overcame abuse that “forever changed” her, she said.
Escaping her “past life,” Poole moved to California nearly five years ago, which she said was “a shift in my life with a lot of baggage.” She settled first in Orange County, trying jobs such as substitute teacher, model and real estate agent and dabbling in photography.
Six months into her California residency, “times got darker,” Poole said. “I was in this big city; it was a lot more challenging than I thought.”
“I used to be a dreamer,” she said. “I [wanted] to do big things. That’s why I moved here; I wanted to do modeling and brand ambassador work and all sorts of stuff. Once you get so much rejection, you’re just, ‘Ugh.’”
Poole took up writing in an attempt to heal herself from emotional trauma when other methods failed. “You try to talk to others for comfort or relief; it never seemed like it worked,” she said. “We all have our own thing going on.”
Crafting poetry from her thoughts and feelings, Poole said she “found release from being able to write things out and reading them later on.”
Still seeking comfort and stability, Poole followed a friend’s advice and began searching for work in San Diego. She found a job in La Jolla and moved here in 2019.
She kept writing, “spilling it all out” into her poetry. It’s a cathartic process Poole said came naturally. “I didn’t realize that I was that much into writing. All [my] emotion fell out.”
She initially shared some of her work via social media but said she didn’t pay attention to the praise she received from her network. “I just did it to express feelings,” she said.
Feeling settled in La Jolla, Poole, a marketing assistant for a local classic-car dealership, began compiling her poetry into a book in January. “I wanted to put it all together. I got really into it,” she said.
“Life Twice Grown” was published in April, encompassing about four years’ worth of writing and containing almost 70 poems.
“It’s crazy to think that this is so many years of work in this book,” Poole said.
Poole said writing poetry came easily, though she’s self-taught, with no previous writing experience.
“I’ve always done creative jobs,” she said, adding that her background in modeling, production work and acting enabled her writing success. “You start playing around with ideas.”
“The exposure of working with so many creative people and that atmosphere” inspired her to craft her poems, she said. “I had just had so many thoughts in my head. It came quite easily.”
Poetry made more sense to Poole than prose. “I wanted to express the feelings I had at the moment,” she said. “It so happened that I wrote short poems. It’s just whatever I thought of and was able to get out on paper.”
“Life Twice Grown” is organized into three sections. Poole termed the first section “a gray area: ‘Gee, what is this world?’” The middle section is “darker, when everything is going downhill,” and the final section “finishes on a more positive note. You can see the road turned and is going up.”
In contrast with her “years of depression and turmoil,” currently “things are different in my life,” Poole said. She’s now cultivating her photography skills.
Poole has a second edition of poetry saved for future publication and is looking into other writing and creative projects.
The most auspicious part of it, she said, is that “I’m not holding onto the past.”
“Life Twice Grown” is available for $15.96 at bit.ly/poolepoems. ◆
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