I found The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music (2008) by Steve Lopez to be a fine book. I loved reading about Nathaniel Anthony Ayers – The Soloist – and found his story (as told by Lopez) transformative and profound.
I felt compelled to write a response. I drew upon my story, and crafted “I am no different.” I shared my poem with Jennifer Ayers-Moore, sister of Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, who told me she liked it very much.
Jennifer Ayers-Moore graciously granted permission for me to dedicate my poem to her brother, herself and her family. Thank you Jennifer, and thank you for your strength and your work!
Jennifer Ayers-Moore founded the Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation to advocate for the artistically gifted mentally ill. Read about the Foundation here. Please support Jennifer and her Foundation’s work.
Robert S. King and David Chorlton, editors of American Society: What Poets See, selected “I am no different” for their anthology, and graciously allowed me to keep my dedication intact. My poem is on the FutureCycle Press website. Read it here. “I am no different” will be in the print anthology, forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.
I am very grateful to Robert S. King, David Chorlton and FutureCycle Press for selecting my work for this important anthology.
I am most grateful to Nathaniel Anthony Ayers for his example and his genius, and for inspiring me to write in response to his story.
A deep bow to Mr. Steve Lopez for his fine book and magnificent storytelling.
Blessings to all, Andy