Today I am proud to introduce a very good friend, Marshall G. Kent Sr., who has just released his first book of poetry titled With All My Heart. I met Marshall on Facebook while playing one of the zillions of games and was most pleasantly surprised when I read some of the poetry he posted on his timeline. He is a very talented poet who writes what I like to call working man's poetry. He doesn't use a lot of big fancy words, although he knows a lot of them and could. His poetry touches my heart, makes me think, and has me reaching out with my emotions instead of just my eyes.
And now, a few words from the great man himself. Marshall, welcome to The Book Rack.
I titled my book With ALL My Heart after thinking of many titles. I was considering Just A Squirrel Looking For Some Nuts and then shelved it. I put all my heart into life itself. I lead with my heart.
I was approached by Dr. Kiriti Sengupta about publishing my work. He said it was “high time” I put my own book out. From there the breakneck speed with which the book was published amazes me. I was to compile 50 poems and send them to him. I asked for a couple weeks and he messaged me a few days later and said he wanted to publish within 7 days, so I stayed up a couple of very long nights and randomly picked 50 to send him (all this was done via my mobile phone). Five days later, With ALL My Heart was available on Amazon. Dr. Sengupta is a very hard charger!
You’re an over the road truck driver. You don’t hear of many truck driving poets out there. Why did you start writing poetry?
I started writing poetry by accident. It began while attending New York Institute of Technology a few years ago. A classmate posted a poem on the school blog, and in response I put together "The Apple and The Tree"—this is my first poem as an adult and is included in With ALL My Heart.
Some of Marshall's poetry was published in the charitable anthology Twist of Fate that benefits the victims of the Oklahoma, USA, tornadoes that hit in May of 2013. Marshall was on the phone with his friend Jason Luttrell when one of the tornadoes hit. The two collaborated on a work that took Mr. Luttrell's eyewitness account and added Marshall's poetry to create a very strong piece about that terrible tragedy. "Oklahoma Strong!" is an amazing piece and I would strongly recommend reading it. Remember, all proceeds from the sale of Twist of Fate are donated to the May Tornadoes Relief Fund administered by the United Way.
Please tell us how you feel about being part of Indies In Action and our book Twist of Fate.
It was a great honor to have you bring me into IIA, Crystal. It was an opportunity to help others and being published in Twist of Fate was just icing. I never really considered myself a poet until getting published in ToF, so it did bring some personal satisfaction and I started occasionally calling myself a poet.
Everything that I learned in the Marine Corps has helped me in civilian life. The whole “never surrender” attitude and “Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)” motto are big for me.
Check Marshall and his monkey buddies online:
New York Institute of Technology (N.Y.I.T) is where I received my Bachelor’s in Behavioral Sciences. I was 39 years old when I graduated. Through the course of my studies I also completed an associate’s degree in electronics.
I have always had a great love for people. I have had my share of trouble along the way in life and want to give back some of what I’ve learned so started out on the path of becoming a social worker/counselor. Problem with that is I have a family and bills and learned that most positions I would qualify with only a bachelor’s degree wouldn’t pay them. So I roll on…Poetry gives me an outlet to work on my own problems and also potentially reach someone else. We are all in this together—Life that is.
I am trying to get health and fitness to be a lifestyle is more correct. It is difficult and I have been battling obesity all my life. My snack at the end of most days is Greek yogurt and a banana.
I have seen people doing just about everything while driving down the road. You would need to censor some of them, but I have seen people driving down the interstate at over 70 MPH working on their laptops…yes, the laptop was in their lap.