Kim Hewett, a Bellbrook resident, had her first poem published in the New York Times in January, 2013.
Last January, Hewett learned of The Cancer Poetry Project. This is a publishing company that compiles poetry that focuses on cancer in the most honest, poignant, funny and breathtaking manner. The poems are written by cancer patients, survivors, family members, doctors, nurses or anyone touched by the horrors of cancer. After the first collection of poetry proved a success, the editor of The Cancer Project decided to develop a second book. Calling for submissions, Hewett decided to submit her poem.
She was devastated after her father’s death. He battled esophageal cancer for years and lost his fight two years ago. She struggled with her feelings and looked for an outlet. Last year, she put pen to paper and created a poem that not only reflected her love for her father, but constructed words that move over cancer stricken patients.
The Cancer Project had over 1,200 submissions. They eliminated the submissions down to 150 poems, to be published in their second book, which will be released in April. The New York Times contacted the editor asking for samples. Out of the samples, the New York Times picked four, one being Kim Hewett’s poem.
“I feel honored and excited,” Hewitt said. “Poetry wasn’t something I was really interested in. This was one of those things where there was a lot of emotion and writing a lot didn’t seem appropriate. So, getting out the raw feelings in seemed to fit in poetry. I sat and worked with it until I said I was happy with it and it felt appropriate,” Hewett said.
“I’m interested in poetry now because once I did it I feel really connected and I want to do more of it,” she continued. “I feel really inspired by the success of it. I was my first poem and now it is going to be published. I feel really excited about this.”
Kim received her Master’s in creative writing at Miami University and won some awards for writing she submitted and had a short story published in the Ohio Writer Magazine. She is a former High School teacher at Beavercreek High School and taught at Miami University. She is currently a technical writer for a research and development company in Beavercreek.
“I wanted something that reflected who my dad was and who we were. He loved Bill’s Doughnuts. He was a farmer so Sunday afternoons were really the only time we sent together. He loved the Bengals and would get so frustrated with them. He would stomp out of the room, muttering. This is everything I remember about him.”
“I wrote it on the year anniversary of his death. It was my way of dealing with what I was feeling and that is what came out,” Hewett said.
Barn Wish, by Kim Hewett
You are in the old barn
Getting so dirty Mom won’t let you in the house,
Then kicking mud off your boots against the back step.
Not on a couch in our dark living room.
Covered with wrinkled blankets I’ve never seen before.
Not being moved by three nurses
With serious faces
To the sitting room that now has a hospital bed
Beside the sealed-up fireplace
And a piano that needs tuning.
I sit where you can’t see me
Listening to the rustle of papers and pills in the other room.
Let’s go back to the barn, I whisper.
Let’s turn on the TV and watch the Bengals lose.
Let’s eat Bill’s Doughnuts and drink Pepsi.
Anything but this.