Austie Baird of La Grande, a mother of four, has been posting her poetry on Instagram –– a social media platform –– since May 2016, but in a few weeks she’ll be a published author.
Baird is one of five Americans who are part of a global project, after being selected by a United Kingdom-based book publisher, Nic Outterside. Outterside is the editor of “Different Voices” –– which will be released April 9 –– a professionally produced anthology of poetry and prose for worldwide publication.
“Nic reached out to me on Instagram,” Baird said. “He and the other editor (associate editor Saumyata Bisht from Almora, India) went through and picked 30 people (on Instagram) whose work they really liked.”
According to a press release, 19 of those people will be published in “Different Voices.” Other writers include a 16-year-old student from Bangladesh, a lawyer from India, a nurse from the Philippines, a novelist from Los Angeles and a self-proclaimed mystic from Australia, among others.
“This ‘family’ of contributors live and work up to 11,000 miles apart, across 18 time zones,” said the release. “Their writings display the diversity of their home cities and cultures and form the unique nature of the book.”
Baird, who received a bachelor of science degree in history and a masters in education from Eastern Oregon University, is an English high school teacher in Cove.
Her Instagram profile states that her writing is “just a bunch of letters, arranged into words, conjuring up feelings, sighing out hope, sitting on a page, covering a picture that nobody wrote.”
“My writing is often drawn from emotion I see, or drawn from others,” Baird said.
She explained her writing has been a personal journey since she was a teenager.
“I wrote through most of college, and then stopped for many years,” she said, but she started writing again in 2016 and soon set up an Instagram account to display her writing.
See complete story in Wednesday's Observer