When did you first feel like a writer?
I have been writing since I was a teenager, however, it was almost 20 years later before I felt worthy of naming myself "writer." What brought me to that moment of self-declaration was reading the book The Write To Write by Julia Cameron. In the book, there is an activity which asked me to write 10 affirmative statements completing the prompt: "Writers are _____." I was then to write these statements
5 times each day. I created self-affirmations from these statements by replacing the words "Writers are" with "Camisha is." After several days of writing these statements five times each day, I began to believe the truth of them.
What's your philosophy about teaching a writing class?
My background as a teacher is in facilitating workshops and retreats focused on topics such as diversity issues. Through that work, I have developed a strong belief that when I am leading a group I am never the sole keeper of wisdom in the room. My role is to provide a process by which "students" can access a deeper understanding of their own life's truth. I prefer to do this in interactive ways. As someone whose initiation into the writing community has been through slam poetry, I also believe in the power of sharing what is written. I see writing as a source of healing -- for both the person who is doing the writing and the person who hears or reads what is written.
If you could time travel, which writer would you like to meet?
I would love to meet Paul Laurence Dunbar. It amazes me how he was able to gain notoriety in an age when Black writers received little respect in America.