BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Most of us have found ways to pass the time during this pandemic, but for one Boardman man, he spent his time creating art to advocate for people with disabilities.
Having a disability himself, 26-year-old William Clark spent months writing poetry to give a glimpse inside his world. On Monday, his book of poetry was published.
“As I begin to get ready, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.”
For the first time, Clark reads his poem out loud.
“Even now, after 25 years, I pause for a moment. I glance at my weakened leg as it supports my body. Just then, the cold waters of reality wash over me.”
It’s one of many poems that now make up a book, one that gives an inside look at what it’s like to live with a disability.
“I’m human. I may be disabled but I have had a love life, I have had heartbreak, I’ve had victories,” Clark said.
Clark was born with cerebral palsy, but the recent Youngstown State University graduate has turned his struggles into poems to advocate for his community. The book is a dream come true.
“Now, to be here and making it a message of healing and overcoming trauma and overcoming things of that nature, it’s very vulnerable and very raw for me. So it’s very hard to put out there,” Clark said.
The book is called, The Ever So Accurate Tales of a Not So Average Man: The Testament of a Modern Disabled Man.
“To go into my own mental battles, I am literally giving you a window into my soul,” Clark said.
In the eight poems and 62 pages, Clark describes his life from the time he was born. He calls it his interpretation of what his life has been like.
“Each and every day I am reminded that I live in a cage. The invisible cage in which I fight from sunrise to sunset, forced to serve a life sentence for a crime I did not commit.”
“This is William, this is Billy Clark, you know? I want to grow from this,” Clark said.
On Monday, the book was published on Amazon for Kindle. Hard copies will be delivered next week. He already has 70 pre-orders.
“I have an audience, I have a platform that you and other people have been gracious enough to give me. I don’t care about money. I care about the message, about the art,” Clark said.
With his vulnerability and heartfelt message, he hopes this book can help change perspectives for the better.