Tanya Markul Gravitates Toward Poetry to “Tell Real Human Stories”
“The pain that made you the odd one out is the story that connects you to the healing world,” reads Tanya Markul’s Instagram bio.
This philosophy has fueled Markul’s poetry career, bolstering her more than 24,000 followers and sales of her debut collection, The She Book. Andrews McMeel publishing recently released the title, which aims to inspire healing, dreaming, creativity and more in Markul’s growing audience.
To celebrate, Read Poetry asked Markul about her poetry journey, her aspirations, and what she hopes readers gain from her words.
Kara Lewis: How and why did you first become drawn to writing poetry?
Tanya Markul: I started writing poems when I was five years old. I used to scribble a line on top of a line and call it a poem. I’ve always loved the look of old poetry books — the aesthetics, colors, and simplicity. And it blew my mind the first time I heard rhyming. It felt like another world to read and hear it. I’ve been drawn to poetry’s imagination from the beginning. It’s a beautiful, powerful way to tell real human stories and express every emotion.
KL: Many of your poems reference different ages/years in your life. How did this come to be such a prominent theme in your work, and what does it represent to you?
TM: My own experiences were and are the very source of my need to write in the first place. What else can we draw from in writing than our own experiences?
KL: Much of your work is concerned with themes of pain and healing. What do you think makes poetry such a powerful catalyst for vulnerability and the healing journey?
TM: When I write about my experiences, I go through a process of re-telling my life. This is how I gain a better understanding of how I came to be and who I am. And I believe that when you discover who you are, you may gain a better understanding of what you need and what you can offer to others.
KL: You post both your work and incredibly honest insight into your writing process on Instagram. How has your social media presence impacted your poetry and your career as a poet?
TM: Social media has provided me with my first audience and enabled me to reach a far greater amount of people than I thought possible. I’ve also been lucky to reach an extremely loving and understanding audience. They are truly real, weird, sometimes lonely, sometimes depressed, ordinary, creative and strong humans. They are the bravest people I know.
KL: A new edition of your previously self-published collection, The She Book, recently came out from Andrews McMeel Publishing. You’ve said you’re hoping that it will inspire audiences. What do you hope readers learn and take away from the book?
TM: I hope that what I share is relatable. I hope that people who relate can find solace in [the fact] that they are not alone. And I hope that this can create some relief from the feeling of isolation that can be so detrimental to emotional healing.
RP: What was your process while writing The She Book?
TM: I write to process my emotions. While I was putting this compilation together, I was in the midst of pregnancy, betrayal, postpartum struggles, depression, self-destruction and a lot of personal growth. I was also accepting the effects trauma has had on my mental and physical well-being.
RP: What are your future goals for your poetry?
TM: To kick ass and take names. Haha. To sell a million copies of The She Book, of course. I’m just about to finish The She Book II. I hope to offer it soon!