Haikeem Stokes, a South Philly native, is the eldest of three brothers and three sisters. He first fell in love with writing in the third grade. In junior high school, Haikeem wrote several short stories, then later illustrated and penned a series of comic strips. In the eighth grade, he used those creative-writing skills to transform short stories into rhymes. By the twelfth grade, he won several first-place trophies for rapping in talent shows. It was during Haikeem’s high school years that his skills in rhyming had evolved into poetry.
He has taken his passion for wordplay and literary arts and cultivated it into the dream of creating, “Works of Heart.” These “Works of Heart,” include 2 novels, I Need You Too, At 12, After, 4 books of spoken word, Reality Life Conscious Struggle, Earlixer, Concepts of Intimacy, and Melodies of Lullabies. His latest efforts are non-fiction and deal with the sometimes complicated relationships between sons/daughters and absentee fathers entitled, The Purple Orchard Syndrome and Littered Fields. Haikeem believes that the gift of writing allows one to blend imagination and reality to create their own universe. He writes from his heart in order to convey his message of life and love.
The Exciting Life of Literature
By Haikeem Stokes (first published in Intellectual Ink's inaugural paperback)
To simply say this adventure has been incredible would be an extreme understatement, for mine has been an experience rich in brilliance and happenstance. I’ve had the esteemed honor of rubbing shoulders with the “Who’s Who” in the business, as well as sharing intelligent conversation with writing royalty.
It’s such a surreal feeling to go from reading an author’s poignant words, to one day exchanging endless words with them. The rigors of the road forge together pseudo-family bonds, which are greatly appreciated and sometimes essential for staying the course.
Everyone has their reasons for becoming an Author. My fundamental reason was to free the subdued voice I felt deep inside of me. My attitude towards fear was magnanimous until that glorious day I decided to put pen to paper and declared my independence. Since then, my thoughts have been unadulterated, and my writing has been the evidence. I don’t for one moment take for granted the amazing talent, opportunity, or gifts The Creator has bestowed upon me.
My whimsical journey began many years ago inside the storied halls of libraries and museums throughout the city of Philadelphia. Instead of enduring frivolous play in the streets, my mother ushered my siblings and me into a world of limitless knowledge and wonder.
Initially, what was thought to be a punishment soon became appreciated escapism. It wasn’t too long after that I’d make treks without mom but siblings in tow. The vast information allowed me the time to enhance my maturing mind and equip it for chaos ahead called “Adulthood”. It was definitely needed in the approaching mutinous times. I learned at an early age one’s words can have the same powerful impact whether spoken or written. In fact, once sentences are written the reader has a chance to fully comprehend the writer’s meaning rather than a crowd’s irrational response to words that are seemingly heard. It was at that moment that I recognized my calling and obeyed. As a child, I wrote as such, but once into young adulthood my writing progressed and began to separate me from my fellow classmates.
The first novel I wrote was extremely challenging for me. I had such a plethora of stories swimming around inside of my mind that I didn’t know which one to bring to fruition. Of course, I adored them all because they existed inside of my mind, but I thought it wise to be very particular when choosing the topic of discussion so to speak. After much contemplation, I chose the genre of, Romance. For nothing on the face of the earth is more dramatic than when two are in love. I compare love to a game of high stakes Russian Roulette. Once a person extends greetings to the desired someone the cylinder becomes loaded, spun, and awaits the hammer.
While writing my first novel, “I Need You Too” there were moments of amazement as the story seemed to pour through my pen and onto the paper. I found myself intrigued as to what would be written from chapter to chapter. Characters seemingly took on a life of their own and developed before my very eyes. Storylines formed as naturally as breathing and before I knew it my first novel was drawing to a close. I felt a gambit of emotions as I added that last period but the most prominent was an abundance of joy. I foolishly thought that I would never feel that way again but as the universe will have it, I’ve sustained that euphoria each and every time I add that last period.
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