Sevlene Hemmings turns lyricism into poetry

Written by By Natasha Schuster, CNN

Ditching the style of songs like “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Unapologetically,” “blessed” is a collection of poems by a country-pop singer who’s built a huge fan base the world over with her chart-topping songs.

Sevlene Hemmings is based in Nashville, and has starred in videos with country stars such as Dierks Bentley , Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum . That success has translated to her burgeoning poetry career, as a cover story in Billboard explains . And she’ll get the chance to shine in June, when she releases her first poetry book, “blessed.”

Hemmings told Billboard about her love of poetry and the confidence it’s given her as a performer.

“There’s so much that’s verbalized,” she said. “I’ve always been a fan of that. There’s a possibility that I am prepared to be moved, and it’s rare to find it in live. It’s rare to find something like that in a live performance of a spoken word poem.

“You get people going into a moment and really feeling what’s happening at that moment in that sentence.”

Her friend, John Morgan, a writer and director for TV commercials, helped her start the book series.

“It was a very different task, in terms of writing for a volume, as opposed to having to prepare a short story,” Hemmings said. “I was much more drawn into writing a poem set to music.”

In fact, she doesn’t even say ‘lucky’ in the book. In fact, the first few poems haven’t even begun to be written.

“There’s a lot of things to understand, and a lot of things I didn’t know, and a lot of people that I didn’t know before,” she said. “I came across the really beautiful personal stories that inspired the writing. It was just neat that it’s not just like, ‘I’ve been in this place before,’ and ‘I’ve had a meltdown before.’ I have something to reveal.”

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