‘E as Poetlove Water’ is the poetic moniker of Etaniel Ben Yehuda. ‘E’, as he is most easily called, has been writing creatively since the age of 13. “Writing became an open door into a space of sanity and sensibility. The outside world was not making sense to me.” says E. B. Yehuda. The literary journey started with a production of poetry and R&B-flavoured lyrics. Then, it was followed by a discovery of E’s “true voice”.
Through many personal and social conflicts, the voice started to speak through the writings around the age of 17. One year prior, Etaniel embarked upon a spiritual journey to know thyself. Many questions that were posed as a child were being answered as he entered manhood. Etaniel always said that he was not afraid of the unknown, a taboo subject, or the unseen. Unfortunately, Etaniel had trouble seeing the “true Etaniel”.
Writing continued to serve as an escape from the realities of growing up in America. Consequently, creative writing was kept as a secret from family and friends. The candid nature of Etaniel’s earlier works would have made him feel too vulnerable and cause him to retreat into his “shell”. He maintained the desire to understand the world in which he lived. By the age of 19, Etaniel gained the confidence to share his poetry with friends, family, and some community members. By the age of 21, he started to attend and perform at Open Mic venues around Virginia, Washington DC, and Baltimore.
By 2001, E. B. Yehuda made the decision to relocate to Miami to really “escape” his current life. This would be one of the pinnacles of his life. Etaniel’s writing life leapt. At this time, Mr. Yehuda is performing regularly at Open Mic venues in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, writing online music reviews (for South Florida-based Reggae artist Ras Shaggai), contributing to a few Caribbean publications (Jamaicans.com, Kulcha Shok Muzik), and hosting a ‘Roots and Words’ Poetry/Open Mic and DJ night in South Beach.
After the whirlwind of creative opportunities had passed in South Florida, Etaniel decided to resettle in Virginia closer to family and friends. By 2004, the writing had stopped. One year had passed. After crossing paths with dear friend, Soul Elcock (Spoken Word Artist/Illustrator/Painter/DJ), the idea was presented for a small group of writers to meet on Sundays. The only criteria was to write new material and present. So, the writings resumed.
By 2006, the group had disseminated because of its members’ personal and professional obligations . Etaniel adopted a new life schedule, which included returning to school at Virginia Commonwealth University, working full-time, playing percussion for a local religious organization, and volunteering at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of VA, Inc. and Carver-VCU Partnership. Life did not allow ‘E’ to write creatively.
The development of a great hunger enabled Etaniel to find time in his extremely busy schedule to write again. In 2008, he accepted freelance writing opportunities with The Virginia Defender and reviews of a few cultural/entertainment events around the Metropolitan Richmond area. On a personal level, the writing returned to song lyrics/melodies. This time, E. B. Yehuda began to add Piano to his creative/artistic resumé. Literarily, the focus was on Poetry and Songwriting.
Around the end of 2008, an epiphany had occurred. It entailed gathering the poetry written over the past years into a chronicle of literary works. E was extremely excited to take on this endeavour. He shared this idea with good friend, Rebekah Ofori Frimpong (2010 Finalist, Miss Ghana USA), to have a dual book release in 2009. Once again, the life schedule caused the book to be placed on the “back burner”. By Spring 2009, Etaniel was not producing much new poetry or attending any open mic/creative writing venues. He felt stuck. After a series of trips to New York City, he had gathered enough inspiration and confidence to write again. This was heightened by his weekly drumming sessions with Julian Jamal Payne (Drummer/Artist/Youth Counselor). These sessions inspired the piece, ‘In-Between’.
‘E’ required more stimulation, inspiration, rejuvenation, and creative manifestations. He received a call to relocate to New York City. During Summer 2009, the writings increased and Etaniel became happier. He made the announcement to family and close friends that the winds of life was carrying him to New York City. In August 2009, the move was complete. The oasis of writing had received its monsoon. The poetry was everflowing. In Summer 2010, ‘The Connection’ was published in the anthology, Potluck Poetry.
Currently, ‘E as Poetlove Water’ is performing at local open mic venues in the Eastern United States and promoting his first published book, The Chronicles of Air, Water, and the Source. You may purchase a copy of the book (available in soft or hard cover and as an e-Book) at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, iUniverse.com and Diesel-ebooks.com. To schedule a book signing/reading/performance, please contact ‘E’ at firstname.lastname@example.org.