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KUED's online series exploring creativity

Michaëlle Martial

Michaëlle Martial is a Haitian-born author and spoken-word artist. She is dedicated to empowering other women through her art and poetry. A domestic violence survivor and losing her infant daughter, all while experiencing the diagnosis of her mother with early onset Alzheimer’s, Michaëlle channels her experiences into her writing.

 “I chose poetry because I always loved to hear the words come to life when I read a piece. Even as a young girl I’ve always loved fables, especially French fables,” she tells Verve.

As a teenager, she tried drawing and painting, but for her writing and working with words was more natural. As a Latin Souk dancer, the rhythms she grew up listening to inspire her. “You can hear it in the way I arrange my pieces and the way I voice them out,” says Michaëlle. A self-ascribed introvert, she felt writing was a way to help her organize her thoughts and convey her feelings better. Michaëlle is thoughtful and chooses her words carefully.

“I don’t like to do generic,” she says. “I don’t like blanket answers.”

Becoming a poet didn’t just happen overnight for Michaëlle. “I never thought I would be a poet. I couldn’t even say out loud I was a poet.” Artists were not valued when she was growing up in Haiti, she explains. “Everyone told me to be an accountant or a doctor, something more lucrative. And that’s sad to me.”

When asked what she considers poetry, she tells Verve, “When you can take something very ugly, and put it in words that can be healing or soothing to someone else. That’s poetry to me.”

Through her craft, she inspires other women to have self-love and positive body image through the practice of self-care. The author is very involved in the local community through her activism. Michaëlle is the organizer of Relaxation through Verse, a recurring Poetry Salon where local poets and artists perform in an intimate setting. She also leads Cupcakes for Breakfast, a kid-friendly poetry reading held quarterly throughout Utah. The author also advocates for immigrants and the search for a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

To follow the author and her work, find her on Facebook & Instagram and on her website.