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SCC graduate pens 1st poetry book

LAPLACE — Writing poetry takes courage. Local author Kelsey Villeret made a mosaic of the mountains and valleys of her life in her debutpoetry book, “Efflorescence,” set to publish in 2021.

Villeret’s senior year at St. Charles Catholic High School was cut short with the COVID-19 shutdown, but quarantine provided the perfect opportunity to hunker down and finish her manuscript.

The words spun onto the pages are deeply personal, and Villeret wasn’t certain at first if she wanted to share those pieces of herself.

“It’s a collection of the past four years and everything that I’ve been through. I had a really tough break-up, and my dad passed away,” she said. “It’s kind of like a little diary to me, which was why it was hard to think about publishing.”

Villeret found encouragement from family and friends who supported her through the entire process. She’s glad that she took a leap of faith because writing has always been in her blood, and “Efflorescence” is her first step toward achieving a lifelong dream.

“I’ve been writing pretty much my whole life. I’ve always been a big reader, and around the time I was in middle school I remember thinking, ‘this is what I want to be when I grow up,’” Villeret said.

Fiction is her usual genre of choice. She loves the writing of Cassandra Clare and other young adult authors. Villeret was also inspired by local writer Ali Vicknair, who released her poetry book “Thick Hair, Thin Skin” at age 19.

Villeret’s work encourages readers to find strength from within and persevere. The title “Efflorescence” is a French word that describes the process of flowering or blooming. It is also the namesake of the very first poem to appear in the book.

“That poem is called ‘to flower out.’ It’s basically about writer’s block and growing up. It almost summarizes everything that the book’s about,” Villeret said.

“Efflorescence” is being published through Legacy Book Press for a 2021 release. Owner and operator Jodie Toohey is the author of five novels, three poetry collections and one nonfiction book, and she was pleased to be able to assist a young author in preparing for her debut publication.

Villeret is eager to see how designers bring her book to life with unique cover art. After that, she will have to wait patiently for the book’s release.

In the meantime, she is moving to Baton Rouge to begin her freshman year at Louisiana State University with a mix of in-person and virtual classes.

“I’m going to college for English and creative writing, so hopefully that give me a platform to get into (writing) a little bit more,” Villeret said. “I’m working on my next novel that’s going to be fiction. I’m looking for a literary agent for that.”

For more information about “Efflorescence,” please visit kelseyvilleret.com or follow Kelsey Villeret on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.