Teen author nominated for award

Leila Phoenix Alexander, 13, from Portland, is an AfriCAN Honoree Authors’ Awards nominee.

A Portland teen poet, working on her second book, has been nominated for an award.

Leila Phoenix Alexander, 13, from Portland, launched her anthology of poems entitled Young Mind… Unspoken Thoughts last month. She has been nominated for an AfriCAN Honoree Authors’ Award. The winners will be announced in July.

The 48-page paperback, including poems and illustrations by Leila, was published by Tshienda Publications in December last year and digital copies can be bought online.

Leila told the Plainsman at a Mitchell’s Plain entrepreneurs’ hub and Ward 81 Valentine’s market in Westridge, on Saturday February 11, that her writing is about issues she thought needed to be voiced.

“I write about depression, loneliness, bullying and rape. Many victims and survivors can’t make sense of their feelings or what they had gone through but they’ve spoken to me and I capture that in my poems,” she said.

Her mom Karen Alexander-Haddon, said when her mother died two years ago, Leila wrote a poem. On reading it she just exclaimed: “You can really write”.

“I want to give her the opportunity to share her talent and share valuable lessons we’ve learned through this experience of writing, publishing and advertising the book,” she said.

Ms Alexander-Haddon said that Leila should know that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

“Harnessing whatever skills she has. I want to get her a laptop or an electric device she can use to save her writings,” she said.

Leila is working on her second book.

For books and more information call Ms Alexander-Haddon on 060 741 5437 or email KLAHaddon@gmail.com