Exclusive Interview with author "Rachel Harty"
Rachel Harty is the coffee poet, a girl who is nothing short of caffeine. As a six-year-old, she often would be found stealing coffee from her parents, and as you might have guessed, she quickly became fascinated by caffeine. Much like all the other things she was exposed to, such as writing, ballet, volleyball, school, etc. Given her curiosity, she set her eyes on writing and documenting her travels and big city adventures, anything that was quite the opposite of her small hometown of Deland, FL.
In her adolescent years, she ultimately pursued volleyball as her primary passion, and secured a Division 1 scholarship to Campbell University. There she studied Trust and Wealth Management, tactically, with hopes of landing a job that would afford her with the opportunity to move to New York. Rachel did just that, living life in the fast lane, accomplishing much in a short amount of time. Her coming of age came with many emotions, some that she couldn't quite articulate, so she reverted back to her favorite things, caffeine and writing. With so much to say, she wrote her first book, Coffee, a Sip of You and Me, which will be released in the Spring of 2023.
When Rachel is not writing, you can find her at her other desk job, consulting. She lives two lives in New York, and is still coming of age herself. If you ask her, she'll tell you she's over caffeinated, under rested, but certainly happy to be here, by no surprise.
Tell us a little about yourself - have you always been a writer?
Interestingly enough, I was always writing. I recall writing poems to my grandfather when I was six years old. I honestly had no idea I was writing poetry, but I knew I enjoyed it very much. So, in short, the answer is, “yes.” However, I only claimed that term ('writer') when I was 21. It took some time to allow myself to accept that name, “poet,” as I viewed life binarily in my youth - I had a misconception that you could only have one profession. And now, I laugh because I'm over that hump. In New York, when I'm not writing, I'm working at a consulting firm, and that's just the way it is.
Tell us about your new book.
Coffee, A Sip of You and Me is a collection of poetry. It's living; it's breathing; it's steaming. It's fully brewed and waiting to be sipped time and time again. It's lying on your coffee table, reminding you that this was never about coffee. Rather, it's about coming of age through light-hearted humor, self-love, heartache, and rediscovery. To read coffee poems, one must read between the lines because this book is a metaphor for coming-of-age emotions masked in coffee and occasionally sugar and cream.
Why was it important for you to write this book?
Coffee, a Sip of You and Me, was vital to write, as it empowered me to emote all the things I felt when I didn't have a voice to speak. I will never forget my college roommate knocking on my door while I was in a young 20s rut. She proceeded to lean into the doorway and handed me a quote that was coffee related, and it read, "the cream always rises to the top." I thought that was beautiful. Suddenly, I was inspired (which I had not been for quite some time) to pick up the pen and write a coffee-themed poem. I did every night for a year and ended up with a miscellany of coffee poems and prose. Quickly tying together themes, I compiled my first draft of the book during my senior year of college.
What message would you like your readers to take away?
Coffee is more than a drink; in this case, it's the way I've felt, metaphorically, and I, too, hope you can relate.
Why did you choose to express yourself through poetry?
It's the one activity I can carry out and not collect an ounce of stress but rather a relief, which comes in many forms.
Who are your favorite poets?
The likes of Mary Oliver and Billy Collins often inspire me. These two both know how to make poetry accessible for the everyday reader, and that's what a good writer's aim should be, always.
As a successful young woman, what is the one piece of advice you would give the future generation?
I'd repeat a historical phrase heard time and time again to the future generation, and it goes like this: "Don't be afraid to lead with your authentic self." I say this because breakthroughs and success don't come from following the crowd; they come from nowhere else but from within. Listen to your inner voice, always.
What can we expect from you next?
I am working on my second book, primarily centered around New York mishaps, love, comedy, and coming of age in a fast-paced place. Through this book, I'd like to bring some humor to the hustle and bustle, all while pouring out my own personal experience through free verse poetry, all of which I wrote on my subway commutes and long walks home, to and from the office, late nights out, etc.
For more information on Rachel, please visit https://www.rachelharty.com/