Iyetade Oyeilumi stopped by Imported Chocolate for a chat with us! Her book, “Automne a Paris” is filled with creative poems about staying strong after love loss and finding inspiration in Paris. I’m sure those of us who have traveled because of heartbreak can relate. I can!
Imported Chocolate: What is your book about?
Iyetade: “Automne `a Paris” is about dreams, love, pain, strength and life. In fact, it is not exceptional in the sense that we all feel or have felt the feelings I describe, but the way there presented is unique and exceptional because the stories are my own.
Imported Chocolate: What inspired you to write Automne `a Paris?
Iyetade: From the beginning of 2012, my life had started to change drastically from where it had been the past five years. My job ended in January, and I decided then that I wanted to live a life of my design. This included preparing myself to be a financially independent entrepreneur, and traveling long-term. Later in the year, my relationship also ended and I was heart broken. The idea of traveling long term seemed all the better especially then. I wanted to be inspired by life and a new city as much as I was when I first moved to NYC, and one city sprung to the top if the list—Paris. The true inspiration came naturally from all of these factors, and the poems started to flow.
Imported Chocolate: What inspired the name of your book?
Iyetade: I started writing the poems in the summer of 2012, but dozens were created in the fall. I was inspired by Walt Whitman, whom I share a birthday with, and read that he self-published his American classic “Leaves of Grass” with just twelve poems. I started to think what my poems had in common, and the common factor was that they were composed during one Fall in Paris I.e. the title in French “Automne `a Paris”
Imported Chocolate: What parts of Paris inspired you the most to write your book?
Iyetade: I moved to the Canal St. Martin in the 10th arrondissement in the height of the Parisian Summer, the beginning of August when most of Paris retreats to holiday because Paris is smoking hot! Canal St. Martin is where the “cool kids” go to hang out on the Canal, eat, and drink vin to the wee hours of the morning. It was a great neighborhood to get my feet wet in the city, and my daily walks around my hood inspired me constantly. I then moved to Montreuil, which I compare to a Brooklyn type hood. It’s super close to the city, and filled with diversity, and lots of artist!
Imported Chocolate: Why Paris?
Iyetade: Paris in general inspired me, but the people I met inspired me more. I met painters, models, singers and writers; they all had a passion and love for their craft, but what stuck with me the most is the confidence to say this is who I am—an artist. I learned if I truly want to be an artist the first thing you have to do is exclaim it for yourself! This in fact was the biggest influence for me as I have been writing all my life, designing since I was a teenager and doing a host of other creative things that I never really shared with others.
I am both a city and a country girl, but I wasn’t ready to slow down and sit on a beach or by the countryside. I wanted a place that would evoke my five senses to the max and for me, when you think of cities, very few compare to New York. I am a major foodie, and that played a big part in me picking Paris. The cheese, foie gras, fresh fruit, veggies and wine was like an invitation for my taste buds. Paris is a beautiful city with the architecture, lovely gardens, parks, and great museums it won out in the first foreign country I wanted to experience longer than 3 weeks!
Imported Chocolate: What’s next on the agenda?
Iyetade: Now that I have my first book out I don’t want to stop! I am writing everyday. “Automne `a Paris” is a series from “Seasons and Places”, so there will be 3 more books of poetry in three different places in three different seasons. Also my clothing line YMA-INC. is one year old and will be launching a new collection in March for Spring/Summer. I am very excited about all the wonderful opportunities I am receiving. Being able to travel, create, write, and design is my dream come true. This is the life of my own design, experiencing, living and sharing!
To grab yourself a copy of “Auto a Paris” click here to order!