Northwest Horizons

Katlyn Bullard publishes first collection of poems

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According to one of the many rules entailed in Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, the key to surviving high school is finding an outlet. An escape. A place to speak even when rendered silent and shouldering a world to stress over.  And for junior Katlyn Bullard, her outlet was found in the form of poetry.

“I’m not very good at talking,” Bullard said. “I started writing poetry in fourth grade when our teacher taught us about it and I was like I’m gonna write about butterflies.”

Crediting “the way words flow” and Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” as the first piece that evoked emotion, Bullard explained that since the fourth grade, her poetry has become a lot more personal and contains a lot less butterflies.

“I have PTSD and [writing] is something that has really helped me cope,” Bullard said.

Recently, Bullard has self-published a book titled “Collection of Poems” or as she calls it, “Trauma Book 1,” for 99 cents on Amazon. The book includes 10 poems that all in one way or another relating to her PTSD.

Looking down and taking a deep breath before looking up again, Bullard opened up about her struggle with PTSD and past, stating that she was raped at age 12.

“It was [awful] for my mental state and writing about it has really helped,” Bullard said.

Despite the milestone to any writer’s life publication suffices for, Bullard claimed that she has yet to tell many of her peers, friends and even one of her parents.

“My mom has always been understanding when I write.  I’ll say ‘mom, I’m writing’ and she’ll go ‘okay, tortured artist, I get it,’ but my dad still doesn’t even know.”

With only one other friend that had published, Bullard said that she “had thought about publishing a book before, but what really inspired her was the poetry [unit] in Mrs. Huynh-Duc’s class.”

Poetry, especially when taught while confined between the four walls of a high school classroom, doesn’t always strike a chord with most students in such a pivotal manner, but for many teenagers around the globe, especially Katlyn Bullard, it serves as the necessary outlet everyone needs and deserves.

“Here you go world. Here is part of me,” Katlyn Bullard said of Trauma Book 1.


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Katlyn Bullard publishes first collection of poems