Welcome from Oklahoma USA Poetess Jan Phillips! Jan is the author of God Speaks, I write a poetry anthology about her relationship with God.
Do you remember writing your first poem?
I really can’t remember the first poem I ever wrote. I have been writing and reading poetry for many years because I love the rhyming of the words and they sound so musical. I have read them many times at church and everyone enjoys them very much. Everyone who heard me read them or read what I wrote always wanted a copy and I was encouraged by friends and family to put them in a book form. I decided if I was going to do a book, I might as well publish it. Since I feel that most of the poems were given to me by GOD, I think He would like for them to be seen by as many people as possible. I am sure He would not want me to keep His words to myself.
Describe your poetry…
I think God Speaks, I write appeals to readers because it is a different sort of book. It has a poem for everyone. It has humor, truth, life and beauty. The poems have a musical quality that is not often displayed in poetry. It not only can be read, but if you are so inclined, you could sing most of them.
My book is different because I am a unique individual and each person brings something of themselves to their writing. I also think that with God doing the speaking and me doing the writing we make a powerful team. Not everyone has that sort of relationship and if they do, they don’t always use it for the purpose that God had in mind. By reading this book you can tell my mind was open and the words flowed like a spring.
In your opinion, what makes a great poem?
What I really like most are the poems that rhyme. The others don’t always make sense to me. I think because the rhyming ones almost sound musical and I love music.
What do you write in Dear God Letters?
Writing Dear God Letters is a way for me to pray sometimes. There is no book and the only place I keep them is my computer. I may decide to make a book out of them someday. My main inspiration is God and all He stands for. Sometimes people will say something that also strikes a chord and I immediately know I want to write about it. I guess I get my inspiration and vibes from living life to the fullest.
Where do you like to write?
Usually when I get my inspiration is late at night when I can’t sleep and I go outside and look at the stars and wonder at the greatness of the world, then I come back in and write whatever comes to mind.
Who is your favorite poet?
I am not sure I have a favorite poet. I like them all very much.
What are you currently writing?
Currently I am writing a novel. It will be called Sharecropper’s Daughter and it’s all about growing up with nothing and ending up with something. Still writing poetry as well.
You attend the Remington Park Church on the backside of Remington Park Race Track! Sounds horsey...
I run the Chaplain’s Clothes Closet at the Church. We used to have racehorses at Remington and it is so great to watch the beautiful horses going by when I am there. Never won anything. The closest we came was 5th place one time and the friend that was co-owner of the horse had an ink pen in her hand and we got so excited that he was coming up in the race, jumping up and down and yelling and at the end of the race my friend was missing the ink pen. We often wondered if we would see someone walking around with a pen stuck in their head. We finally lost our trainer and our horse wasn’t doing well and so we donated him to the Baptist Boy’s Home in Edmond. He was so tame and such a sweet thing that we figured maybe the boys would enjoy riding him. Being in the race business is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s all ups and downs. When you are really up its so much fun that you forget about the down side. I always wanted to be a trainer, but I was working at the time and didn’t think I knew enough to train a horse, but it would have been great to have been around horses all the time.
Since I work on the backside at the Closet, I get to see some of the most beautiful animals. Prancing along like they are on top of the world. One day I was outside watching these guys trying to unload one of the horses and one guy was at the front and the other at the back. They couldn’t get it to come out of the trailer. The guy on the back side tried pulling on its tail and that wouldn’t work either so I walked out to the fence and spoke to the horse and told it that no one would hurt it so to come on out of the trailer so I could see how beautiful it was. The horse suddenly backed right out. The guy led the horse up close to me and it kept trying to come over to me but he would not let it. Then it started throwing a fit when they tried to take its blanket off. I told it no one would hurt it and let the take the blanket off so I could see how pretty it was and so it settled down and let them take care of business. I don’t know if it was me talking to it, but the sound of my voice seemed to calm it. Off it went with the guys prancing and beautiful.
I miss having a race horse. It was great fun. In fact we had riding horses before that and it was great fun too. I guess seeing them all the time is the closest I will get to owning one again. But I still think it was one part of my life I will never forget and enjoyed it immensely.
List a few things that your fans may not know about you...
I have a good sense of humor
I have great rapport with all animals but mostly horses, dogs, and cats
I smile all the time
I love to garden
I love to cook (not gourmet)
I love to read murder mysteries
I have been married 47 years
I have two beautiful daughters
Connect with Jan…
I was born in a small town in Oklahoma and grew up close by in another little town. We lived on a farm until I was in the seventh grade in school and we had to move to town because my father was so sick. He died when I was 16 years old and a senior in high school. I missed him then and I still miss him and think about him a lot. We were very poor and had very little to eat or wear. But that’s another book being written. We had to work hard just to survive and we did a lot of farming. The first house I remember living in was built badly and we had to stuff newspaper in holes in the walls. We papered the walls with any newspapers or magazines we could get. That is how I learned to read and write at the age of five. I started writing poetry then, it just wasn’t very good at that time. I still love nature and all its glory and I believe living as we had to do give me a solid foundation on which to build to learn to cope with the world and people as they are today. It instilled the love of family and God into my life. I accepted God as my savior at 15 and started to grow as a person. I hope some of that part of me went into the poems I have written to help others to fulfill their destiny with God as I hope I am doing. I have no other books published. I have written several short stories and am in the process of writing a book, but don’t know if I will publish it or not. I still write poetry and probably always will as long as God gives me the words.