About the Author
Donna J. Sanders
Donna J. Sanders is a poet, freelance writer and blogger. Born in the Caribbean island of Trinidad, she migrated to the US in her teens.
She is the author of 3 poetry books: Ataraxia – about the struggles we face, the state of the world, and how to see beauty in the simplest things. Cardboard Signs – poems to bring awareness about homelessness, mental illness, self-esteem, and those human beings who are often left in the dark. And Devour Me – Food, to me, is poetic, and cooking is definitely an art. My husband always tells me my food tastes a lot better than from the restaurants because I “cook with love.” It is what gave me the idea to combine two things I love dearly: food and poetry. The poems in Devour Me are not just about food in general. My love for food has allowed me to use things found in the kitchen literally and metaphorically.
Her work can also be found in several anthologies: Writing Tips, Divided Lines, Shades of the Same Skin, Twist of Fate,Poetic Melodies, Imperfect Paths as well as her social media pages. She writes to inspire, educate and let others know they are not alone in their fight. Her poetry has also integrated social issues, the journey of her faith, encounters of everyday life, and words to encourage the world. Her ultimate goal is to change one life at a time with her words.
Donna is currently a staff writer and editor for Creative Talents Unleashed. In her spare time, she loves to read Science Fiction novels, enjoys cooking, scrap-booking and photography. She currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida with her husband.
Donna’s Readers Reviews:
There are many voices clamoring for our attention these days and I dare say most of them would voluntarily go silent if they really cared, for they seek more to gain financially from “consumers” than to impart their lived humanity to fellow travelers. Very often the voices that need to be heard are not shouting above the crowd or calling attention to themselves as if they alone have “the answer”. Their sufferings have not destroyed them but blown them like molten glass into a beautiful container. They have words we need to hear but they will not run around neurotically grabbing lapels for attention. They know what they have to say is valuable and we need to have some level of appreciation for that if we are to hear them, and our need is great.
I’ve just finished reading Ataraxia by Donna J. Sanders. Each one of these poems is a quiet but firm grasp on reality against a background that threatened that grasp. That we don’t know Donna is perhaps a good thing because she has no celebrity image to preserve nor some ideology to hawk. She simply speaks poetically from within the crucible of the life she has survived and, having been pressed like grapes over years, now shares with us a fine wine.
In her first poem, with the same title as the book, she says ataraxia (a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety) is what she craves, thereby establishing her main desire consonant with most of humanity. Each one of her poems then in turn reflects some glint of suffering, pleasure, anger, triumph. I can’t say there was a poem here I didn’t like because each one had its own honesty, and honesty is not simply about like or dislike but admiration. These words from the poem My Testimony are typical of what you will find.
“Even though my internal fluids ferment, this core refuses to be petrified…”
This is the struggle to survive personal affliction and remain human without turning into something beastly. This is a struggle we all know in our own ways. Donna J. Sanders is one quiet voice who has recorded her path through the minefield. Voices like hers are unnoticed sanity valves in a world that threatens to overwhelm us with its madness. You can wait and pay a therapist big bucks to help you with no guarantee. Or you can read Ataraxia and self-medicate.
Donna writes of the struggles of daily life as well as finding joy amongst the chaos. I love this book and the many facets it contains. A real treasure. – DMcLain
Donna’s writing is so juicy. It’s full of nutritious thoughts, perspective, and strength. You can tell that her words aren’t arbitrary or meaningless. She’s letting you sit in on her conversations with God and her soul. This book would be a great addition to college-level or AP English classes. Her literary journey is just taking off. – Kerri
Devour Me . . .
Food, to me, is poetic, and cooking is definitely an art. My husband always tells me my food tastes a lot better than from the restaurants because I “cook with love.” It is what gave me the idea to combine two things I love dearly: food and poetry.
I tried the vegetarian thing once and it’s not for me. My body craves a juicy steak when I haven’t had one in a while. My grandmother raised chickens, and there’s nothing like a fresh, seasoned drumstick smothered in barbecue sauce. And if you think baby goats are cute, sorry but we island people savor those animals in their adulthood and wrap their curried meat in flat bread we call roti.
I was very fortunate to grow up in a place filled with delicious, exotic fare. Food is a big part of our culture in Trinidad, and I am thankful I learned to cook some of the dishes from my childhood. If you are from the islands, you already know you can pretty much use curry on any kind of meat, and even vegetables. It is an acquired taste and is cooked differently in various cultures.
The Food Network Channel has taught me a lot of tips and tricks over the years. Did you know you can freeze herbs in olive oil and used them in soups and stews? Always cook your steaks close to room temperature for even cooking. Ditch the sugary sodas and juices by adding fresh fruit to your water. I have learned to eat quite healthy and thrifty with the knowledge each chef shares.
In my cooking adventures, I have tried many new dishes from several cultures and decided to share some of those recipes in this book. My husband is part Irish and he loves a traditional Shepard’s Pie; a dish that must include fresh, ground lamb and stout beer. Italian food is also one of his favorites and I have perfected my mom’s lasagna recipe to suit his cravings.
I love a warm, hearty soup on cold days, and it took me a few tries to create the perfect recipes. The secret is definitely in the home-made broth. Trust me. It DOES make a difference! I included two of my favorites for all to enjoy: Chicken Noodle and Beef Vegetable.
When I cook, I tend to modify other recipes according to my taste. I cook with a lot less salt than most and if you enjoy tasting the flavor of meat and vegetables, then there is no need for a lot of seasoning. Enjoy the ingredients in the food you cook and don’t be afraid to experiment a little.
Cardboard Signs . . .
I used to write for therapy. I used to write because it was the only way to release my anger. I used to write because I was one of those people who have been broken over and over again. But now that I have mastered how to pick up the pieces of my heart and soul, I now write to mend the rest of the world.
Finally comfortable in my own skin, I spend a lot of time observing humans, or the humans we once were, and I came to a few conclusions:
We have lost our sense of compassion for those less fortunate.
- We have lost respect for elders and those with authority.
- We have been brainwashed with the concepts of fame and fortune and feel the need to maintain a social status.
- We have distorted what beauty really means and concentrate on outer appearances, rather than the worth we have not yet discovered inside.
Ataraxia . . .
There are facades we all have to be aware of – the constant deceptions being forced down our throats to be like everyone else and with the mindset that more is better. I have finally learned to be comfortable in my own skin and embrace the unique in me, regardless of what is left in my pockets. I write because it is my gift and I love to, not for profit or to be recognized. I write with the hope that my words could change one life or even inspire. If this is where my destiny lies, then the sacrifices were worth it.
Visit Donna’s Author Page At: www.ctupublishinggroup.com/donna-j.-sanders.html