Henry Tee Merriweather

Viewer’s choice of the year winner 2013

Location… Suffolk, Virginia
Age… 37
What made you realize you wanted to write?

I started writing in high school, but to be honest though, I wanted to pur-
sue drawing, because I found drawing more interesting than writing. It

wasn’t until my 10th grade English teacher, gave me the inspiration to
pursue writing and finding a poem that my mother wrote, to push me and
influence the poetical side of me to come out.

How do you think being in the military has helped your writing?
The military gave me the edge and the fire I really needed to let myself
go and just really express how I feel without regard to what anyone has to
say or think. It also allowed me to go through some good times and bad
times which allowed me to open my eyes to a lot of different emotions
that I had lingering inside for so long.

Your work touches a lot of readers because its personal & relatable how
do find the courage to be as open as you are when you write?
I put my heart and soul into every poem I write, whether it’s about what
I’m feeling at that time, what I see in life, and just out of pure happiness.
I’m just a simple person with the love to express myself and share with
those who feel the same way.
Viewer’s choice of the year winner

What is a misconception people have about you?
The biggest misconception to me is that people can’t seem to get a
read on me! Like all, everybody has their days when you don’t want to
be bothered, yet I walk around like that the majority of the time, unless
I’m around those who know me. I’ve upset a lot of individuals who
thought I was arrogant, nonchalant, or just angry all the time, when

really I could have had the best day ever, but refuse to let those indi-
viduals bring me down by saying irrelevant things to do so…

If you could create a new show on bet & discovery channel what would
it be & who would be in it?
Good question, because I haven’t come remotely close to thinking
about anything like that. If I were to create a new show, it would have
to be something like Def Poetry Jam, but catered to more of a broader
audience to reach those who are interested in poetry and/or writing. I
would call the show, “Express Yourself”

Why do you think library’s in schools today need more choices for kids
to pick to read when it comes to the arts?

Believe it or not, tomorrow’s generation will be more inclined to tech-
nology than to liberal arts and it’s actually starting to show now! I have

a 7 year old son, that’s more into video games and things of that na-
ture than he is about reading, writing, or finding ways to express him-
self. Our libraries have plenty of choices for kids to pick up and read,

it’s our children who have to be interested enough to even pick up a
book.

24
What do you think is the hardest thing for you to write that you haven’t
shared yet?

The hardest thing/person for me to write about would probably be about
my father, though I love him with everything I have, but we didn’t have the
best relationship as far as father and son. He wasn’t always around when
I needed him the most, so I had my grandfather, who was more of a dad
to me while I was growing up! I have no grudges with my dad, because
he is my dad and I will always love him for who he created, for what he’s
done to mold me, and for giving me the best of him whenever I was
around him!

If a young poet ask you how to find inspiration what advise would you
give?

For a young up and coming poet, who were looking for inspiration, I

would give him the advice I didn’t get once I actively started writing seri-
ously…

“Inspiration starts from within! If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else
will!” Keep a strong support system around you to help you cope with the
ups and downs of life, because life is a very testy situation we all face. I
think the biggest piece of advice I will give a young poet is, no matter how
lame you think your poem is to you,
someone else will find the light in your work. Whether it be a word, a line,
or even the title, don’t be afraid to share yourself with the world or your
circle. And always…
BE YOU!
No one can take your style from you!

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