'Wanders of the Night' traces path to inspiration

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Photo Credit: Avery Chahl | Daily Texan Staff

For a self-declared insomniac, it is an unfortunate circumstance to fear the night sky.

“Wanders of the Night” is a 136-page collection of poetry, written by sociology sophomore Keilah Granados and inspired by her own experiences. The book is published under her pseudonym, Keilah Belen, and features an ironic image of the night sky on its cover.

“I fear the night sky,” Granados said. “Well, not the night sky, just the universe, the galaxies and all that. It kind of makes me nauseous. What’s out there, I don’t want to know.”

To combat her fears and inspire others, Granados gave the world a peek into her late night thoughts with her self-published poetry collection, “Wanders of the Night.”

She said she chose to publish through Amazon CreateSpace because one of her favorite authors, Rupi Kaur, had published her own book through that same channel.

“I saw Rupi Kaur’s post about (how she published her book, “Milk and Honey”) and I was still contemplating whether I wanted to publish my book or not,” Granados said “I (had) barely maybe shared two (poems) on Twitter.”

Granados said seeing Kaur’s description of self-publishing through Amazon’s free CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform helped push her to publish and that the website gave her the power to control everything about her book. Jacob Rodriguez, sociology sophomore and friend of Granados, said he purchased the book and found an unexpected depth of feeling.

“Books like Keilah’s allow other artists to realize the beauty in their own artwork,” Rodriguez said. “I guess it gives people the confidence to self publish or to just be expressive about their own ideas and creative talents. It’s helped me solidify my joy of painting. Knowing that she was ready to put this out in public made me feel more confident in my own artwork.”

A friend of Granados’s from high school, Anissa Lazcano, is a health, kinesiology and leisure studies senior at Baylor University. Lazcano said she was surprised by Granados’s book, as she had known of her writing ability in high school but not her passion. Lazcano said she benefited from the book, finding comfort in her friend’s work after a difficult breakup.

“I’m really proud of Keilah,” Lazcano said. “I’ve seen her grow, and she’s doing what she loves and I hope that she continues. The book itself, I loved it. I knew that Keilah was really smart, but I never knew that she liked writing.”

Granados said the reaction to her book feels unreal.

“My roommate actually called me into her room to autograph her book,” Granados said.

By the end of this year, Granados said she plans to have two more published books under her belt. She said much of her poetry draws from painful experiences of loss and disappointment and that creating this book was a relief.

“I’ve never been one to be open about my feelings or my emotions,” Granados said. “I wanted others to know, ‘You know what, you’re not alone.’”