Baylor student explores experience of girlhood in poetry book

By Kalena Reynolds | Staff Writer

From girlhood to growing pains, Baylor sophomore Abbey Ferguson’s poetry book entitled “everything i didn’t say” is an in-depth look at her journey in love, life and college.

“It was sort of a combination of my roommate and my best friend from back home kind of encouraging me to put it together and create a collection of it,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson, who is a native of San Dimas, Calif., said amid every emotion that came with the chaos of college, she always turned to poetry for support.

“When I came to college was when it kind of became a lifeline,” Ferguson said. “I really just needed to write. I moved here from California and was experiencing homesickness and finding new friends and relationship troubles and trying to figure out who I was and my identity. And it kind of became like, ‘Oh, I need to write actually.'”

Ferguson explores many topics throughout the book, ranging from relationships to the feminine experience, with poetic expression and inspiration. When she compiled the poems for her manuscript, she kept everything chronological, as the poems begin the summer before she came to Baylor.

“I loved all of my philosophy classes [where] I read Virginia Woolf. I love Sylvia Plath, who’s another big writer, Simone de Beauvoir. I loved all their work,” Ferguson said. “So I kind of feel like a lot of it is definitely written out of a feminine, female perspective.”

After finishing the writing process, Ferguson began a six-month process of editing, designing and publishing, which she did all by herself leading up to the Jan. 15 release date.

“I ordered the [first] copy and had to redo the cover because it was kind of ugly and had to make sure all pages were aligned and everything like that,” Ferguson said. “And then it was like three weeks into January is when it was finally going out on Amazon for people to buy.”

Ferguson went into the editing and publishing process without prior knowledge and used Amazon’s “Kindle Direct Publishing” platform, which sends a royalty to the author every time a book is purchased.

“I looked into how to create a manuscript and published it through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, which basically allows anyone to upload a book manuscript,” Ferguson said. “So I kind of had to watch a lot of YouTube videos and look up a lot of things like how to create a real manuscript and how to format all of it.”

Grand Canyon University sophomore Alanay Banks, who is Ferguson’s best friend, was one of the first to read the manuscript and encourage the book’s release.

“She shared a Google Drive with me with all her poetry, and then from there, I just had access to the Google Drive,” Banks said. “So every once in a while, I’d go in and read her poetry and keep up to date on it, and I just wanted to encourage her to keep doing that.”

Banks said the topics covered in the book are incredibly deep and are not only personal to Ferguson but also related to the female experience.

“I think it’s some of the deepest things women go through without even realizing it,” Banks said. “I feel like it is personal to her, but a lot of poems in there connect to other people. Especially if you are a teenage girl during these times, then I think it just embodies how it is to be a teenage girl now.”

“everything i didn’t say” is available for purchase on Amazon.

Kalena Reynolds is a sophomore Journalism major from Phoenix, AZ with minors in art history and media management. In her first semester at the Lariat, she is excited to meet new people and continue her love for writing and story telling. Aside from writing, Kalena is also on the equestrian team at Baylor and has a deep love for music and songwriting. After graduation, she plans to go into the music industry.