Saturday, April 1, 2017



APRIL 2017

OPA How long have you been writing Poetry? We would like to know the early stories about your growing up as a poet or writer in general. Who are your favorite Poets? What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? Had they inspired you a lot, do you believe in inspiration as a guiding force behind writings at all?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : I started writing poetry as a little girl; however, I rekindled my love for the art when I returned back to college in my adult years. My favorite poets are the late Paul Laurence Dunbar and Dr. Maya Angelou. I also love what Author Alice Walker did with the Color Purple storylines (Dear god); I felt myself in her book. In any event, The Color Purple can be viewed as historical fiction novel because it doesn’t refer to any factual events. Therefore, I would have to say that I like to read Literary epistolary novels and write from the poetry genre.

I have been inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar and Dr. Maya Angelou’s work for years, because, to me, their writings are strikingly similar. As a woman of color; I can identify with their plight through poetic thought/accounts. Their impact and writing prose left a legendary perspective on my worldview. Both writers have affected me in a profound way, therefore, my love for poetry is a template of their legacy. I cannot leave out that I absolutely love, love, love Dr. Maya Angelou’s gift for poetic gab which left a huge impact on my writing prose.

Although, several writers have inspired me along my writing journey; none can compare as a guiding force to the inspiration that I get from God through this scripture “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it: because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 KJV).

OPA What has been the toughest criticism given to you as a writer? What was the biggest compliment? Did that change how or what you write?  What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : The toughest criticism given to me as a writer came from my English college professor, because she saw something in me as a writer, which I did not see within myself. Therefore, she taught me to cogitate in a methodical way before penning my thoughts to paper; which later groomed me to become an academic writer. At the time I felt that she was so very hard on me, but now, looking back in hindsight, I totally understand why she stretched me and made me wrestle with critical and analytical thinking; which ultimately, did improve my writings. The biggest compliment came from that same professor via email; she said she was not easily impressed with writers; however, she was very impressed by something that I wrote for a mid-term in her class. She also requested that I shared it with the class. Until this very day she is one of the best writers that I know.

After reciting poetry at events; I am often asked by total strangers to recite a particular poem at their funeral (someday). I am usually speechless by this, and yet, honored by their request as it relates to my poetry; touching the inner core of their soul, causing them to want my words to be the last words spoken about them.

OPA What is your favorite poem you have ever written? Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : I noticed a huge change in my writing style from whence I first began writing poetry. I had to learn to shorten my poetic lines and follow my heart or gut if you will and know what and what not to change, as it relates to my poems. Poetry is like the blues; it is written from the depths of one’s soul, therefore, you have to know when to stand your ground and not change what you have written to satisfy another; once the poem feels right to you.

My favorite poem penned is “Plight” because it speaks to the depths of my soul and the heart of my people:

By: Author Renee’ Drummond-Brown

You don’t get that right
To understand our plight

Were you there?
When that slave girl
The very day,
They stole her away

Were you there?
When that slave girl
Was bound
Shackled and chained
Cow bells on the neck
That ‘rang’

Were you there?
When she rode that vast ocean
On Noah’s waves
Of never ending rains

Were you there?
At ‘HER’ door of ‘NO RETURN’
Uneducated to your customs and ways
‘Wit’ an unfair playing ground while trying to learn

Were you there?
Standing on ‘dat’ Auction Block
At 14 years of age
As she watched
‘Dat’ Auctioneer’s gavel drop!!!
He’d say
To her dismay
Down to her family;
Just given away
‘FREE’ of cost

Were you there?
As she picked a bail,
Were you there?
When sorting out the bushel’s
That rotted
Were you there?
As she picked
All through her midnight

Were you there?
When she couldn’t give ‘Massa’
Any fight

Were you there?
When she warmed ‘Massa’
Anytime ‘HE’ wanted both day and/or night

Were you there?
When she ‘HAD’ to cast ‘ALL’ her cares
On a ‘god’
That she was ‘TOLD’
didn’t care

Were you there?
As she entered those back doors

Were you there?
When she was called a wench
and then some more…

Were you there?
When she was kicked
to the ground
Like Christ,
Got back up
And never
made a sound

Were you there?
When she had to eat
slime and hogs

Were you there?
To watch her treated
less than a dog

Were you there?
When mixed babies
came from her

Were you there?
When she begged ‘Massa’ to keep ‘do’s’ chillins’ in ‘dat’ dear dirt
Plus for ‘da’ one’s
not belonging to her

Were you there?
As she watched
So many

Were you there?
When she stood tall
At it all
Never allowing
to cry

Were you there?
While she couldn’t tire,
nor snore

Were you there?
When she polished silverware
Plucked string beans
Cleaning on hands and knees
O’ those
hardwood floors

Were you there?
When Missy lied
on her

Were you there?
At her foul treatment
Far less
than dirt

Were you there?
At her rape(s),
and cries

Were you there?
As she wondered
God even cared
Let alone
was alive

Were you there?
When she prayed
to just die
Were you there?
When she ate
Humility pie

Were you there?
At worship
While sitting
in ‘dat’ balcony
Asking permission
To use

Were you there?
When ‘dat’ slave girl
The day
they stole her away
You have nerve
to wonder why???
You don’t get
that right
To understand
‘Our’ plight
I’ve been there
In ‘da’ ‘STEAL’
of my nights!!!

Dedicated To: Black History Month
A B.A.D. Poem
(Authored: “A B.A.D. Poem”, “The Power of the Pen”, “SOLD: TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER”, “Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight-I’ll Write Our Wrongs”  and e-Book- “Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight”)
No part of this poem may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without written permission from the author. All Rights Reserved@2016

OPA   What has been your favorite part of being a poet or and author? What has been your least favorite?

 RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN :  My favorite part of being a poet and or author is the freedom that comes with being your own boss. Writing requires being creative and according to Merriam Webster’s creative is defined “marked by the ability or power to create. Having the quality of something created rather than imitated” (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). (2012, pg.293). Springfield, MA: Merriam Webster Inc.). With poetry there are no boundaries and/or academic rules (if you will) therefore, I have the freedom and ability to use the power of the pen the way I see fit. The least favorite part of being a poet and or author is the time spent away from family because of the extensive hours that are required to write.

OPA Did you get to quit your day job and become a writer and/or author, or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN :  I am retired and a full time college student; studying creative writing in the fall.

 OPA Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? What genre are you most looking forward to explore during your writing career? Why?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : Besides reading and writing the most favorite thing that I love to do is spend ‘alone’ time with my immediate family. I also look forward to the return of college in the fall where I will study literature and creative writing with a concentration in the poetry genre. Why poetry? Because as previously stated in my book: SOLD: TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, “WRITING IS MY OXYGEN” (Drummond-Brown, R.,p.xii).

OPA: Do you think literature or poetry is essential in our life? If so why? How does it relate to the general history of mankind?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : Literature and/or poetry are essential in our lives because it has been here since the beginning of time, which directly relates it to the history of mankind. The Bible actually opens with poetry at its best “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 KJV). Through God’s word, He also gave us 5 poetical books in the Bible which are the book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon and my all time favorite Ecclesiastes. Collectively these books are ordained by God. Therefore, God gave man Wisdom Literature and poetry to provide us righteous instructions in dealing with justice and equity. Furthermore, He instructs us to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). Literature and poetry is extremely essential to the history of mankind according to the word of God.

OPA   Our readers would like to know your own personal experience regarding the importance of literature and poetry in your life.

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : The recurring theme running through the vein of my writings could be viewed under the spiritual genre lens, but…it is safe to say, that I am not boxed into any particular category. I am extremely versatile in my writing prose (free verse, if you will). I can write on love, nature, romance, comedy, politics and social issues (just about anything). However, with respect to all writers, I personally would not write “Dark” poetry.

OPA Do you think people in general bother about literature in general?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : I think that literature has its place as it relates to education and I also think that it is extremely important for Literature, English, the Humanities and creative writing be taken more seriously within our classrooms/school system. I do believe those consumerists are taking over our way of critical thinking by distracting us with social media as oppose to the importance of literature in general. We are so technological savvy that we no longer know how to cogitate for ourselves thus using critical problem solving and/or analytical thinking in our writing skill set. Generally speaking, I do believe that literature, especially the genre of poetry, if not careful, will fall by the wayside in our classrooms.

OPA If humanity tries to understand tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in obtaining understanding?  If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself with the tradition and modernism?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : Literature can play a pivotal role in obtaining understanding as it relates to traditions and modernism. For example, I believe that Author Alice Walker’s book The Color Purple, captured the very essence of traditions for that era because of her writing style and prose; which, made a huge impact in our understanding of what life was like during that era. Nonetheless, the intention of a good author (like Walker) should be able to have his/her writings understood for the era in which they are writing, as well as their work being able to be applied in today’s time; which is, in and of itself, tradition and modernism at its best.

OPA Do you think society has a factor in shaping you as a poet, or your poetry altogether?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : Because our society is an organization or club (if you will) formed together for a specific purpose, I do believe that the activities that surround me daily plays a huge role in shaping my thoughts as a poet; which ultimately affects the way I cogitate and write.

OPA We would like to know about any influences that has inspired your poetry and writings.

 RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : As a woman of color; I am a very compassionate writer of poetic injustices that reflect periods in time relating to slavery, Civil Rights Movement and linking it to the plight of the 21st century children of color. The oppression over time of the African American people has influenced my writings as well as the African American poets who have been crying out for justice and freedom within their poetry. My poetry connects the dots to the legacy of poets such as Dr. Maya Angelou and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s appeal for freedom.

OPA We would also like to know; how do you relate the present literary trends with the literary heritage of your country? 

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : Because I am a woman of color, if truth be told, I personally cannot relate to the present literary trends with the literary heritage of this country because people of color (like myself) have not been afforded the proper education of our own literary heritage to make a fair assessment as it relates to these types of questions.

OPA Do you believe that all writers are the product of their nationality? Is it an incentive or an obstacle in becoming an international writer?

RENEE DRUMMOND- BROWN : Anyone can learn to become an international writer; however, there will definitely be obstacles and mountains to climb. On the other hand, I do believe that writers are the product if you will of their own nationality because of the status of belonging to their own particular nation. You are more proficient when writing about your own nationality and what you know to be true. Who can write about Ethiopia better than Ethiopians?

OPA What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?

“Poems with Wings are Words in Flight”

OPA   Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?

(The Answer to: Dr. Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”)
By: Author Renee’ B. Drummond-Brown

Of course they wrote you down
in history.
You proved them wrong
in truth.
you planted for me
I’m heard on paper
all the way
to God’s
celestial roof!

My passion for writing
does upset them.
I can’t be concerned.
you left
for me
a gift
from God,
it’ll be
forever writing
that I yearn.

Just like
God’s Raven
the Ark;
‘she’ flew
to and fro.
the waters
were dried up;
from off
the earth.
Because of you,
I’ll forever write
in the skies,
and dirt;
for certain
I do know.

I was
that broken soul,
and bowed
so low
to Satan’s pit;
with nowhere
to get;
but up,
I allowed my pen
to place me
God’s Script (ure).

I know
my writings
excite you,
and with God
for you,
can be against us,
in giving me
that nod?
I finally hear
your words
and clear.
The poems you left behind
are messages
of truths,
the facades.

have shot
my writings
to pieces.
While others
have damaged me
over time.
But God,
a ram in a bush,
a quill,
and wrote for me
Ecclesiastes 3.
He Author’s
the time
and place
with limited
for their
hurtful rhymes.

From the shame
you told me
to write.
I write.
From the pain
you told me
to write.
I write.
I am
that Raven
a large wingspan.
“Renee’s Poems With Wings Are Words In Flight”;
flying all over
God’s land.
I too
want to leave behind
unhealthy fears.
in the dark,
I write.
But in the light,
I see the imagery
our ancestors
gave to you;
which you
passed on
to me.
are the dream,
Barack Obama,
the hope,
I am the slave
set free
(to write).
Still I write,
I write,
I’ll write.

Dedicated to: The memory of Dr. Maya Angelou
A B.A.D. Poem
(Authored: “A B.A.D. Poem” “The Power of the Pen” “SOLD: TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER” “Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight-I’ll Write our Wrongs” and e-Book-“Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight”)
Dedicated To: A Tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou
Published with WestBow Press Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved@2015.
No part of this poem may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without written permission from the author.

RENEE’ DRUMMOND-BROWN, Renee’ Drummond-Brown is an accomplished poetess with experience in creative writing. She is a (Summa Cum Laude) graduate of Geneva College of Western Pennsylvania and graduate of The Center for Urban Biblical Ministry (CUBM). Renee’ is still in pursuit of excellence towards her mark for higher education.

She is working on her sixth book and has numerous works published globally which can be seen in, KWEE Magazine (Liberian L. Review), Leaves of Ink Magazine, New Pittsburgh Courier, Raven Cage Poetry and Prose Ezine, Realistic Poetry International, Scarlet Leaf Publishing House, SickLit Magazine, The Metro Gazette Publishing Company, Inc., Tuck, and Whispers Magazine just to name a few.

Civil Rights Activist, Ms. Rutha Mae Harris, Original Freedom Singer of the Civil Rights Movement, was responsible for having Drummond-Brown’s very first poem published in the Metro Gazette Publishing Company, Inc., in Albany, GA. Renee’ also has poetry published in several anthologies and honorable mentions to her credit in various writing outlets. The Multicultural Student Services Office of Geneva College presented her with 2nd prize in the Undergraduate Essay Contest. Renee’ also won and/or placed in several poetry contests globally.

She was Poet of the Month Winner in Our Poetry Archives, 2017, and in the prestigious Potpourri Poets/Artists Writing Community. The author has been interviewed by Urban Heroes Blog Talk Radio and her poetry aired on Fifth Wall Radio. She has even graced the cover of KWEE Magazine in the month of May, 2016. Her love for creative writing is undoubtedly displayed through her very unique style and her work solidifies her as a force to be reckoned with in the literary world of poetry. Renee’ is inspired by non-other than Dr. Maya Angelou, and because of her, Renee’ posits “Still I write, I write, and I’ll write!” 
The editorial staff of this project: Stacia Lynn Reynolds and Deborah Brooks Langford; sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.


  1. Renee is deserving of this honor and I commend her for being the Accomplished Poetesses I know her to be.... congrats Renee for this Award, POET OF THE MONTH for OUR POETRY ARCHIVES.

    1. Thank you Chief-in-Editor/Author Susan Joyner-Stumpf of Wildfire Publications, for that heartfelt comment. Pittsburgh Author Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight).

  2. Renee' is moving ahead boldly and sharing the powerful words that rise up within her. They stir us and move us to rise up as well. I love this poetess!
    Write on sister Renee'!

    1. Thank you Sister Johanna Collins of Valley View Presbyterian Church for 'ALL' of your encouraging words along my writing journey. Your 'ACTIONS' mean the world to me because they speak louder than your words and I am so very thankful to have you in my life. Your sister, Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight).

  3. Replies
    1. Author David Somerset, thank you for taking the time to read and post a comment on my interview with "Our Poetry Archives". Your support is wonderful. Pittsburgh Author Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight).

  4. Congratulations girlfriend.. this is so awesome and you really deserve it.. WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL

    1. Thank you Chief-in-Editor/Author Deborah Brooks-Langford for always being an encouraging force to so many poets/poetess, including me, on the various poetry web-sites. I also thank you for the support along my writing journey. Your Pittsburgh Author Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight).

  5. Congratulations Renee. Your works of art and inspirational writings touch the very soul. I am blessed to have read this awesome interview and response. Thanks for sharing your creative work.
    Rev Marge Coker,M.S.A.

    1. Rev. Marge Coker, M.S.A., I was quite surprised and pleasantly pleased to read your wonderful comment as it relates to my writings. The Lord knew that I needed to hear that from you (especially on today-smile). I want to thank you for your wonderful compliment on my poetic writings and interview. As you can see, not much has changed from CUBM days; I prefer a written interview rather than oral (smile). Forever your student and Pittsburgh Author Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight).

  6. Congratulations on the award! Your books are a work of art and history in the making. I am so very proud of all that you are accomplishing through your writing. You deserve it and I know there is nothing but great things ahead in your future. I look forward to purchasing your new book and enjoying all the B.A.D. poems.

    1. Thank you Dee-Dee for that wonderful response to this honor and I 'DO' receive it. I know, that I know, that God is spreading my wings and I'm 'FINALLY' ready for my poetic gifts to take flight. I love you, Mom/Author Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight)!

  7. I have always enjoyed to the fullest the poetry writings of Renee she is one of the best lady poets around, she brings the story she is telling alive and i hope that everyone who reads the poems will be a part of the poem she is sharing with them.
    She is a lovely lady good friend and i wish her continued success with everything she does.

    1. Awwwwww~~~Chief-in-Editor/Author Cindy Toth, you are so loved right now!!! I thank 'YOU' for landing my poetic words in Welland, Ontario, and for those heartfelt words of encouragement that you so skillfully bring to me (like no other). I treasure your words more than you'll ever know. Your friend and Pittsburgh Author, Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight).

  8. Hey Renee I had the pleasure to witness your special gift in writing. Every time you wrote a poem I heard it first before the rest of your fans like myself. Thanks so much for crossing my spiritual path you have deposit much wisdom and encourage me in our work studies. I don't know were God is going to place me but I'm truly grateful he put you in my path.
    Much Love and respect

    1. Thank you sister Angie for that heartfelt comment and for 'ALL' of your support along this writing journey. I too thank the Father who Art in Heaven for placing you onto my path as well. Geneva College has taught us many things, however, faith has taken us onto new heights. Your Pittsburgh Author Renee' Drummond-Brown (Renee's Poems with Wings are Words in Flight).