Maya R.S. Collection - Words from the Poet herself

Bio: Maya R S lives in New York City on the Upper West Side. Her favorite poets are Hafiz and Naomi Shihab Nye. You can find more of her poems on Instagram @thatsmethebee.   
When did you first start writing poetry?
I first started writing poetry in 7th grade. Until last year, that consisted of scribbles in notebooks and endless pages of “notes” on my phone once the newer iPhones came out. Almost all of them were unfinished, and none of them were shared until last year. 
The more I wrote, the more this would occur, and when I started writing a novel for a project in high school, suddenly I would get these one or two shorter lines of poetry in my head while walking down the street, or watching an orchestra perform. Until I had “notes” on the iPhone, I had accumulated more than a dozen little notebooks of unfinished poems and thoughts. 
A little over a year ago, a complex, long-lasting relationship-of-sorts sort of came to an end, and I finally wrote a complete poem. My friend, Lydia, encouraged me to share it, and from there I guess the words just started spilling out and I started completing thoughts, posting them publicly, and getting really fascinating feedback. 
What are your inspirations?
In middle school, my inspiration was sleep. Lying in bed at the end of a long day, sometimes something would click and suddenly something I’d been struggling with would make sense; some truth I hadn’t realized yet would come together and I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until I wrote it down. 
Now I think it is about figuring out how I feel about a thing. Sometimes I don’t even think the poem comes to the right conclusion, or it winds up portraying a stronger emotion than what I really am feeling at the time, but writing helps me arrive at what I believe to be my own values, truths and hopes for my life and the world I observe. So in that sense, my inspirations are the incredible humans I get to call my friends and family, and the challenges and lessons that come from living in an imperfect (and therefore, interesting) world.
When will your first book of poetry come out?
Tbd, but look out for an announcement early next year!
What made you say yes to my request to collaborate with X's & O's?
I love the mission behind what you are doing. The apparel is super cute and I could see myself wearing it, but what really got me was the “About Us” section of the webpage. I love that you and your daughter are supporting women by putting forward powerful statements that you believe in, and not only the “tame” ones! Aside from my nine-to-five job, I’m a director for a foundation that builds maternity clinics and provides education programs for women in post-conflict areas, so the idea of empowering women resonates with me. I think there is a recognition in many countries around the world right now of how important women are in building healthy and prosperous societies, and that means more than women just being treated with basic decency in public spaces — it also means developing a fundamental sense of mutual respect and women helping other women find their voice by using their own.
Anything you'd like to say to your fans about the new collection featuring your work?
Sharing my thoughts so publicly is still new to me, so I welcome any feedback and hope it means something for some of you! Also, I’m obsessed with Jennie’s designs. Especially that one bag I’m eyeing...
Find her Collection Here

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