Sharon Sheppard, of Isanti, got into writing at an early age. When her kids were younger, she started dabbling in poetry.
“When life hit ups and downs, poetry was a way to get those feelings out and express myself,” Sheppard, 65, said. “But I never shared it with anyone outside the family.”
It wasn’t until six or seven years ago that she decided to share her free verse with the world at her first-ever poetry group meeting.
The first reading and the poetry group, Poetry and Potluck, helped her build the confidence to write a book called “All We Ever Wanted,” and she will host a book signing and reading at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge.
Her book of poems talks about love, life and all the complications and bliss that go with the two themes. Though Sheppard doesn’t have a favorite, the first and last pieces in the book are very close to her.
The first poem, “White Pine,”started out as a piece about being near a tree, but it turned into a testimony about love. It introduces the attitude of the book, Sheppard said.
“Ode,”the last poem in the book, praises the ups and downs in life and ends with the title, “all we ever wanted.”
Sheppard wants others to understand and like her book.
“The biggest challenge was the fear that you have of sharing something so close to your heart and risking that it will be rejected,” Sheppard said. “You want to put yourself forward in the best way you can. I wanted to have a book that had good poems in it that people could relate to.”
She started with 400 poems and had to narrow it down to the 80 in the book that talk about everything, from watching her grandfather shave and climbing a tree to death and love.
“It runs the gamut,” Sheppard said, much like life.
She chose poetry because she loves it. She loves the rhythm of poetry and how it can surprise people. She likes how some poetry takes a look at a specific aspect of life that has been hidden, puts it under a magnifying glass and sheds light onto it for others to connect. She hopes her book accomplishes that, too.
“If you think about life, and you think about all you really ever wanted in life, there are a lot of things we think we want, but when you get down to the basics of it, is we want to be loved and love, and we want to matter in the world,” Sheppard said. “The book of poetry kind of sums that up – that life’s experiences give us that.”
Scout & Morgan Books, 114 Buchanan St. N., Cambridge, can be reached at 763-689-2474.