Reading librarian Sharice Towles will read from her debut book of poetry titled “While I Was Watching Sun” at Berks Bards First Thursday Reading on July 6 at 6 p.m. in ’ cafe space on the main floor.
While I Was Watching Sun is Towles’ first book, published by independent publisher, SDJ Press. The collection features twenty-three original poems about life, love and rebirth. Towles has been working at the Reading Public Library for 9 years, currently working as the interlibrary loan coordinator.
With a passion for writing, Towles says she uses poetry as an outlet to help her get through tough times. “When the pandemic hit, so many people were protesting, artists were creating and talking about local news, police victimizing black people. That, in addition with my own personal struggles, I felt strongly enough to put my pieces together and speak to others” said Towles.
Years in the making, Towles began writing poems in 2015, but it wasn’t until 2020 that she decided a book would be the best format to convey her message. “Many of the pieces were written over the past few years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that I really focused on writing” Towles said.
Founder of SDJ Press, David Nazario, said he and Towles started the publishing process in August with formatting, photos, and cover artwork. In the spirit of local collaboration, the book’s cover design and interior graphics were created by Kutztown University student and Reading Senior High School alumna, Rivera.
Excited about the launch of her first book, Towles hopes it can inspire others. “I just hope everybody, even if it doesn’t relate to exactly what going through, just feels the courage to share what’s in their heart.”
While I Was Watching Sun is available to borrow at the Reading Public Library, Reading Branch, or for purchase by contacting Sharice Towles by email: email@example.com or on Instagram at @whileiwaswatchingwhesun.