How do 4 lines of poetry take your mind on a roller coaster? We didn’t think that was possible until we stumbled across Alakkuu — a 29-year old Somali-American poet that has used Instagram to attract more than 40,000 poetry lovers. Despite the engagement from his audience, people know very little about the poet himself. Alakkuu, better known as Elias Yabarow to family and friends, began performing spoken word at the age of 18. Soon after, he began to share his work on social media — something that has allowed him to travel North America to perform his work.
A quick glance at his work will give you an idea of the type of poetry Alakkuu writes about. Often times, poems are inspired by a mystery woman — one that allows the poet to delve into topics of love, heartbreak, and even domestic abuse. His work has caught the attention of several high profile artists including Grammy-nominated R&B Singer Kehlani. Poetry is an art that is universally admired, and people from all over have shown fondness of his work in creative ways. Some have inked his words on their skin or printed them on their blankets. Others have brought his words to life by creating visual interpretations of his pieces.
His debut collection, Wet Grass Vanilla, is available for purchase on Amazon. Readers will get to experience his relationship with the concept of love through small pieces of gut-wrenching poetry. The book is split into 5 chapters: The Chase, The Cuff, The Climax, The Chaos, and the Calm — all of which walks readers through the roller-coaster of love and heartbreak. Wet Grass is symbolic of the way the poet approached love; slowly, meticulously, and tiptoeing around the idea of it. Vanilla, he believes, is a metaphor for how his thought of love changed over the years — it’s a substance that changes due to the external forces put on it. Similarly, the way he views love changes within this book based on his relationship with his muse. With the release of Wet Grass Vanilla, we hope to see a continuation of some of the work he’s already shared – something that has been able to touch poetry lovers from all over.