Leona believes that many people have a “Muse,” an inner poet, somewhere within them. She is eager to help them release it.
Some degree of poetic tendency or aptitude lies dormant in some. Other recognize it but are shy about expressing theirs. Still others need help to craft their creations with more skill through the use of figures of speech and poetic devices. Many would like to learn how to work and rework the basic nuggets of a potential poem until it shines with mysterious beauty.
Leona challenges Christians who write poetry to discover how they might use it in ministry. She shows how it can be done in this “how to” book.
Roberta Kells Dorr, novelist and poet, writes in the Foreword: “Leona reminds us that even great poets don't receive their treasured poetic thoughts complete, perfect, shareable and salable. They take work; they don't just drop from heaven. She believes in excellence and she is not content to keep its secrets to herself.
“She is committed to sharing them with others and is willing to answer many of our questions. What is a poem? Are poets born or made? What is the difference between a good poem and one that needs improvement? Can I actually expect to sell poetry these days? How can my poems become a ministry to others? Leona is well-qualified to answer these and many more questions for us. For poets who are serious about their craft, or want to be, her book is a must.”
Leona wrote this book as a modest but sincere effort to help some of us discover the poet who is within us. She writes to motivate Christians who have a gift within to release it, to improve it, and enrich the quality of their poetry. She challenges poets who are Christians to use their gift first of all in the model of Psalm 45:1, “My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; my tongue is the pen of ready writer.” She believes that even if your poem is not read by a single soul, it is a beautiful thing, if it is offered to God. A poem can be a prayer. As such, it has accomplished its purpose.
Topics that Leona covers are ideation in poetry, poetry formats, figures of speech, checklists to improve your poetry, how and where to market poetry, the mechanics of submitting a poem to a publication, and exploring the independent publishing alternative. Her rich bibliography and resources give both the beginner and the seasoned poet excellent direction for further study. She uses many of her own poems as examples in the text.
Leona has conducted Poetry workshops at writers conferences. She has published seven anthologies of poetry: Celebrate This Moment, Life, Stop Crowding Me, Heaven and Nature Sing, Songs of my Pilgrimage, a chapbook, Divine Applications and Latter Rain.
Her poems have been read on her radio program on WTRM-FM, for years on a syndicated radio program Night Sounds, used frequently on her blog posts, and included in her other published books.
Her latest published anthology is Psalms of My Harvest: Painting With Words released in 2016.