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GMC-Augusta\’s Sylvia Parsons-Ramsey offers poetry

Local author offers poetry

Web posted Monday, January 3, 2005
By Kamille Bostick | Staff Writer
Poetry is not dead, at least not in the hands, minds and pens of an Augusta-area author who has recently released poetry collections.

\”People are definitely still writing poetry and people are still reading it,\” said Sylvia Parsons-Ramsey, of Martinez, whose book of poetry, Pulse Points of a Woman\’s World, became available in November.

Mrs. Parsons-Ramsey, a professor at Georgia Military College, has been writing prose and poetry since fourth grade. She said that while poems have always been an outlet for her, she turned to them more after the death of her parents in 1986 and her husband\’s disability soon after.

\”The poetry thing really kicked in as a way of catharsis,\” she said. \”It\’s way of dealing with emotions, dealing with loss and getting it down on paper.\”

Several of her poems were featured in anthologies and literary quarterlies. Friends had urged her to publish a collection of her works, which she decided to do after a chance meeting with a publisher at an open-microphone night.

\”She heard me and said she wanted to read more of my work and when she read them, she said she wanted to publish them,\” Mrs. Parsons-Ramsey said.

As much as she wanted a chance to provide more than a voice to her art, Mrs. Parsons-Ramsey said,she agreed to the collection because she wanted to bear witness to her struggle as a bladder cancer survivor.

Diagnosed in 1993, Mrs. Parsons-Ramsey said she realized how little support, resources and general knowledge there were about the disease, which affects more than a million U.S. men and women.

\”A lot of people just don\’t know about it, and that\’s why I\’m so thrilled about this book being published,\” she said. \”I write, I\’ll still write, but this is a dream come true, to help and get help for others and do something to get this cause some help.\”

Cancer-free for eight years, Mrs. Parsons-Ramsey has designated 10 percent of book-sales proceeds to bladder cancer research, an area she said is underfunded. Another 10 percent will go to the online support group Bladder Cancer WebCafe.

Her book, filled with more than 40 poems about love, health, survival and living has garnered praise from readers, she said.

\”They really connect with it,\” she said. \”It\’s some of the same experience, some of the same feelings that they\’ve had.\”

One review on BarnesandNoble.com said the collection was \”powerfully healing.\”

For Mrs. Parsons-Ramsey, who will be speaking at Borders Books and Music on Jan. 29, that is notice that she is well on her way.

\”I was hoping I could be doing some good,\” she said. \”Every person that I inform about bladder cancer, that this book lets me reach and get support started, if I can get that ball rolling, I feel I have done my job.\”

Pulse Points is available online at www.sylvialramsey.com and www.amazon.com for $13.95. The book will be available in local book stores later in January.

Reach Kamille Bostick at (706) 823-3223 or kamille.bostick@augustachronicle.com.