Skyscrapers Vol 1 is a unique collection that strives to understand what it means to be successful and how people from different backgrounds with different identities struggle to define and reach their goals. While the author Kevyn LeShane starts from the assumption that everyone desires a successful life, he creates an open space for challenging and changing the definition and allowing each individual to tell their story. The collection explores the stories, obstacles, and challenges faced by people from all walks of life who have reached success or are on the way.
The first volume in a planned two-part series tells the tales of ambitious professionals at the start of their careers, multi-millionaires, successful industry specialists, and many others. It provides insight into how people navigate the obstacles specific to their circumstances as they move forward.
The book shines thanks to its humor and empathy for each person who tells the story. The reader can easily consider the tales and find their own way of looking at them, and the goal is always to promote reflection. The author clearly cares a lot about promoting and creating discussion, something readers also got to experience with his predecessors, albeit it takes a whole new set of topics.
Kevyn LeShane is a poet, writer, and spoken word artist, the author of two chapbooks and three anthologies, and also a contributor to several publications, including the Open Mic Night: Campus Programs That Champion College Student Voice and Engagement. This book earned an Outstanding Book Award as given by AERA.
Skyscrapers Vol 1 is a fascinating discussion of the ideas around financial success and how this desire leads people down different paths, be it college or something much more morally gray or outright dark. Each story is told without judgment so that the readers can draw their own conclusions. How do successful people look back at what it took to get where they are? How ambitious young people visualize success when they look at it from the other side, from the beginning of the path? Can people sometimes make corrupt choices in pursuit of something they see as success, and how can they later live with this decision?
This is a fascinating first part of what is likely to be an impressive duology. Skyscrapers is sure to please fans of LeShan’s previous work, as well as people looking for reflective, introspective, and deep discussions of success, but without moralizing. There is a lot of sympathy for the subjects of his stories, and each person gets to tell their side. The exploration is humorous and yet invites the reader to think and put some effort into how they choose to interpret. What are their ideas about success? How far would they be willing to go? This creates an interesting read that might attract those in search of something relevant and current.
Stay tuned for volume 2 of what promises to be an intriguing examination of the modern ideas around success through storytelling.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Kevyn LeShane. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Hi Kevyn, Great to have you with us today! Please share with our readers about yourself.
Hi, I’m a black poet, spoken word artist, and writer. I have authored two chapbooks, three poetic anthologies and have also contributed to the book “Open Mic Night: Campus Programs That Champion College Student Voice and Engagement,” which earned my fellow writers and me an “Outstanding Book Award” from the AERA. I’m interested in telling stories and creating conversational content on the human condition.
Please tell us about your book, Skyscrapers Vol 1.
In Skyscrapers Vol 1, I wanted to discuss and examine what it means to be successful. How the desire to be financially successful shapes our life decisions, from attending college to engaging in morally grey or corrupt ways. In Vol:1, I give perspectives from ambitious youth, established professionals, successful multi-millionaires, and more as they navigate political, social, and personal barriers as they both pave their way to the life accomplishments they strive to achieve and evaluate the actions they have taken on the path to get there.
In Skyscrapers Vol 1, I wanted to provide a variety of emotions. I wanted some poems to evoke hopefulness, others to be light-hearted and humorous, while others to induce sympathy and provide a space for readers to be reflective and evaluate the subject matter before them.
Please share with our readers about your journey.
At some point this year, I will have been officially writing for a decade. I started writing poetry for my high school girlfriend at that time. In a couple of years, I had a few chapbook drafts but didn’t really have a go-to-market strategy until 2018. I published my first chapbook, “Is It Wonderful,” while on campus to gauge how my writing would be received. Later that year, I released my second chapbook, “Sunflower BLVD.” In 2020, I released my first full-length anthology, “Our Chemically Altered Romance,” on Amazon and Google. In October of 2021, I released my previous book and second full-length anthology, “Discontinued: A Short Film.”
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Sometimes the best strategy is to just learn as you go. I just continued to release work and learn more about marketing strategies in this industry as I progressed. I like to take action, evaluate the results and find solutions. For things that are low stakes, like writing and publishing, I’d rather not be perfect than wait around for the perfect moment and potentially never accomplish anything.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
You can follow me on Instagram @his_silhouette.
Thank you so much, Kevyn, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!
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