The season of love is upon us. Romance is in the air, prix fixe menus are printed, and cupid's bow delicately rests in its perpetual quiver. For modern poet J. Iron Word, however, love is not meant for one day. February 14 is a day like any other filled with love and pain, as all the best days are.
J. Iron Word began writing in 2015 after delivering the eulogy for his grandfather's funeral. Friends and family members began to ask where they could read his work, and Word realized he might have stumbled onto a hidden talent. He began writing a novel, which he abandoned and traded in for short-form poetry, also known as modern poetry. After posting his poetry on Instagram, he found success. Word has over 600,000 followers and three books (Abstract Heart; Live Loud, Love Loud; and She is Me) to his name.
Word, which is a pseudonym, doesn't like attention and wants people to focus on his words and not the person behind them. The writer purposefully took down all photos of himself on social media and goes out of his way to remain enigmatic. "People think I am a woman, a robot, or a group of people that write under this name," says the writer. "The truth is that I try to avoid the spotlight—I always have."
Word's writing has an undertone of love, hope, and confidence. Many of his poems celebrate personal empowerment and happy, loving relationships. The writer gravitates to writing about love because it is a universal theme that everyone experiences, he says. And even though 80 percent of Word's audience are women, he is most proud of the male fans who connect with his writing. "I write for people who can't express themselves the way I can, and it is nice to know that guys understand my perspective."
According to Word, whose full-time job is running an auto parts business, "real love is 365" and shouldn't only be celebrated one time per year. Although he appreciates that book sales go up in February, he believes that love isn't about spoiling your partner. It's about making memories and enjoying the little things.
"Not everyone loves the same or feels love the same," said the author. "People feel love and express their love differently. I try to write about that, because there isn't just one way to love."