Writing poetry has been Courtney Dodson’s means of breaking through her dyslexia and finding her inner voice.
The 20-year-old had a challenging childhood and always found it difficult to express herself.
“I went through a bit of a rough time when I was younger,” the Pakenham resident said.
“I couldn’t spell my own middle name ‘Elizabeth’ until Grade 5.
“My dad was also dyslexic and he helped me a lot because he knew what I was going through.
“I stuck at it and I eventually became a ‘Grade A’ student. I’ve since won a lot of writing awards.
“I still have some minor trouble with my spelling but no one would pick it now.”
Ms Dodson’s poetry is based on meaningful experiences – a reflection of personal thoughts and feelings.
“My poems are very much a part of me,” she said.
“My family and friends have always read my poetry but this is the first time I’ve ever published my work publicly.”
With her many works documented in notebooks, Courtney highlighted Pitbull Love and Forever as her two favourite pieces of poetry.
“My mum and I have dogs with pitbull in them and as soon as people hear that, they’re scared of them. People say pitbulls are too aggressive and that they should be put down,” she said.
“It quite upset me. Our dog is the most kind, loyal dog – not to mention the biggest sook. He’s scared of the dark!
“We see these kinds of generalisations made about race and gender and it’s not about that at all. It’s about how you raise them. Your character is a result of your environment.
“I wrote Forever about a family friend a month after he committed suicide. His partner had bipolar and wouldn’t let him see his daughter. He was the most beautiful person.”
Ms Dodson works with special needs kids as a qualified teacher’s aide which includes helping children with their writing.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.