“Torn Pages”: Liana O’Rourke’s poetry through the years

O'Rourke and a printed copy of her book

Rosie Stone

O’Rourke and a printed copy of her book “Torn pages”.

Junior Liana O’Rourke as well as her illustrator junior Eileen Harris are breaking into the world of poetry with their new book “Torn Pages”. In her collection of poems, O’Rourke explores the hardships of adoption, racism and being a person of color in today’s America. O’Rourke’s book is not only poems she has written recently, it includes her earliest poems from the age of 6 spanning to the present day.

“I started writing poems when I was in kindergarten. They were acrostic poems, but they were always a way to express my emotions. I didn’t really understand them at the time, but looking back I’m able to understand how I was feeling at that age,” O’Rourke said.

While writing one of her pieces a year and a half ago, O’Rourke had the idea to collect all of her poems and essays, put them in a book and publish them. She wanted to show how much her writing has changed over the years while also telling her story. A common theme throughout “Torn Pages” is her views on her adoption and how racism has affected her.

And as she put her pen to paper the chapters she had always wanted to tell suddenly came to life,”

— Liana O'Rourke

O’Rourke then walked through the steps of publishing her book:

“I published through the amazon publishing company called BookBaby and basically I had it all on Google Docs. Then we sent it in and they gave us feedback on the resolution. It was a really easy process, once I sent it in and got the okay, I had actual copies of it in a week,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke’s mission in this book is to reach out to anyone who doesn’t feel like they belong. Growing up, she often felt like she didn’t have a community of people like her, her goal is to let people know that they are not alone. She wants to make sure that if someone has had a similar experience to herself, that they understand that their voice is valuable.

“Being vulnerable is really hard, but once you open up you will find so many other people that have struggled with similar things and that will allow you to make so many connections,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke also wants to encourage people to follow their dreams. Her book is a reminder that people with passion can create amazing things once they set their mind to it, especially young people.

“On the journey, know there will be bumps in the road, but once you find peace in it you will realize that your story is definitely worth sharing with the rest of the world,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke’s book is sold at Amazon’s BookBaby.