Shauquan Tamir Michael, creatively known by the alias ‘Verbal Seduction’, is a talented young writer from the ancient county of Berbice – Smythfield, New Amsterdam to be exact.
This 18-year-old, who is a former student of the Berbice High School, is a dynamic, well-rounded individual who first discovered his love for poetry in high school.
Shauquan said, “I realized I was a writer in third form. I believed subconsciously. I also realized I had creative capabilities in my late years of primary school; writing stories for composition was always my favourite school-oriented task because it felt more like fun than work. The teacher would simply say we have a composition writing later, and before any topic or other sentences could be formed, I’d already felt hundreds of stories, their beginnings, and their climax flow through me and I’d be so eager to start I’d miss the topic and write my own story.”
His journey began at the age of 15 when he used Facebook as his first platform under the name ‘S.M’, the initials of his first and last name.
Shauquan would later change that name to Verbal Seduction. When asked about the significance behind this name, he reasoned, “I’d just finish performing at Franale’s annual hip hop and poetry slam. It was my first live performance, which afterwards made me think about my identity as a poet and what my poetry does. Verbal Seduction is a personality of its own, an individual who is skilled with words and makes them do things through romancing them and as such evoking emotions from others. The very meaning of the name is caught between its counterparts: verbal which relates to words and seduction which is to tempt or attract.”
It is no stretch to say this young man’s words leave you wanting more; a true Verbal Seduction, his fans say.
Through the years, his capacity and love for writing grew much stronger and matured from thoughts running completely wild into a refined process.
The writer spoke candidly of the many influences that made him interested in poetry, stating, “I became interested in poetry through my years of reading the ‘World of Poetry’ and watching ‘Def Jam Poetry’ on HBO. Though I’d already had my creative side, there was something special about seeing Def Jam poets perform; how they would tie their personality to metaphors and tell stories, their story, someone else’s story, or complete fairytales.”
He continued, “And the World of Poetry simply blew me away. I completely fell in love with the book and even more with the art form itself to the extent that I’d begun to write my own poems.”
As a child, this teenager enjoyed reading the works of poets such as Martin Carter, Langston Hughes, Williams Wordsworth, Derek Walcott, Mark Mcwatt, James Berry, James Frost, and many, many others.
According to him, their poems often held more depth than his mind could possibly explore at his age; yet he’d read their work over and over again.
He added that while reading their poems each time he would connect the dots to decipher their words, hoping to find the real meaning in their writings.
Speaking to the young man about his first experience writing he confessed, “It was scary at first but it was also refreshing as I began writing as a way to find myself. I’d go through emotional phases, not knowing why or what to do, and also not feeling comfortable opening up to anyone about how I felt in fear of being laughed at or being called crazy for not having a specific reason for feeling down or upset. Writing gave me a chance to filter those mixed emotions and find myself, but even more so, find others as well. It opened my eyes and made me realize that what I was going through.”
His hobbies and interests are in the field of technology. He explained how one interacts with it, how it affects us and new developments within any field of technology. The young writer is also infatuated with music of all genres, foreign comics, cooking and people, claiming, “Though it may sound strange to say, I find humans to be fascinating.”
Poetry, however, is forever embedded in his heart.