Misty-Lee Davis is a member of Megaphone's community writing workshop at the Rainier Hotel. She produced two of the pieces in Megaphone's 2012 Voices of the Street literary anthology (click either title to read): "Try" and "Why am I an addict?"
Below is a conversation Megaphone had with Misty-Lee prior to her reading at the 2012 Voices of the Street issue launch at the Waldorf:
Can you tell me a little bit about how you became involved with Megaphone's writing workshops?
Well, I was living at the Rainier and saw they had a writing group for Megaphone, so I thought, “Well, I might as well try it out”. When you're trying to get clean, it’s a time you definitely have to keep yourself busy. So it was just by fluke that I went in there, and I ended up really enjoying it.
Do you consider yourself to be a writer?
Not really. I love writing but there are only a certain few things that I’ve turned in to Megaphone. I’ve written my life story, actually, at [the Studio writing workshop], and I’m thinking about turning that one in too.
How does writing in a workshop setting differ from writing on your own?
Well, you get other people’s input. Sometimes I’ll be stuck and then I’ll hear something that goes, “Aha! That’s it!” It makes it quite a bit easier being in a group than writing on your own, because you can get little ideas, and tidbits of input back.
In each of the two pieces published in the 2012 Voices of the Street anthology ["Try" and "Why am I an addict?"], you bring the reader into a place that has a lot of darkness and sadness, but there are definitely glimmers of hope and positivity that shine through it all. Is this a common theme throughout your work?
Well, trying... (laughs) Sometimes it gets hard though, like I suffer from depression, and so one of the poems I read tonight, “Try”, was from one of those days, where it’s like, you know, ‘I hate life, I hate this world,’ and I ended up writing about that depression.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yeah. Just to know that there’s at least one thing that I can contribute to the world, you know... And I’ve been clean for a while now. I’m actually going to have a baby.
That's great. I noticed you mentioned your kids in "Try". How have they been a source of inspiration for you along the way?
I’ve got four kids right now, and they’re with my mother; I’m working on getting them back. But there’s always hope, there’s always a brighter side to everything. That’s one big thing that I’ve learned, that nothing’s ever completely hopeless. There’s always hope there, it just depends what you do with that.