At 22 years old, Elijah Taylor reached the milestone of becoming a published author.
Taylor, a 2016 Cedar Hill High School graduate, recently released “As Life Happens” – a series of more than 50 poems. It is available on Amazon.com, and he is currently working on making it available at bookstores.
Taylor, who is a rising senior at Sam Houston State University, has always been creative.
His love for poetry initially stemmed from the disappointment of a breakup with his girlfriend in 2018.
“I thought ‘I am sad, what can I do?” Taylor said. “I’m already an expressive type of person. I took the time to write down my thoughts, and then wrote a poem.”
Taylor has focused a great deal of his poetry on spirituality, love, self-analysis, manhood, romance and change.
“There is a lot of very relatable material in the poems,” Taylor said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic closed in-person classes at SHSU last March, Taylor traveled home 173 miles northwest to the Dallas suburb of Cedar Hill, finishing his junior year with online classes.
His mother encouraged him to utilize the extra time to compose his first book.
Taylor will often have a thought or conversation, write it down and then a few hours later, it becomes a full-fledged poem.
“I used to write one or two poems per month,” Taylor said. “I took advantage of the time that I had to write several poems and publish a book.”
Taylor said the process of publishing a book was straightforward. It includes editing, formatting and selecting an appealing book cover.
One of his favorite poems in the book is titled, “Cry Like A Man.”
“It’s a poem about being a man in society and knowing how to release your feelings,” Taylor said. “Men are stronger when they are able to express their feelings.”
Taylor also wrote a poem about the patience of being single and waiting for the right person. It is titled, “Not Your Time.”
Beyond the book, Taylor had a poem published in the SHSU Student Newspaper, The Beacon, last February. He also participates in Spoken Word Performance for a group called “Music Nation.”
“Some of us write poetry, some of us rap and everyone comes together,” Taylor said. “We help support each other.”
Taylor arrived in Cedar Hill ISD as a Lake Ridge Elementary second grader in 2005. He attended West Intermediate and Permenter Middle School, before CHHS where he participated in Yearbook and Track & Field.
“I am proud of his pursuit of expressing himself through poetry and his perseverance in pursuing excellence,” said Jane Thornton, who taught Taylor at CHHS.
CHHS Counselor Bonnie Baker agreed.
“Elijah's poetry brings out a variety of emotions,” Baker said. “They paint pictures and stir up forgotten memories.
An Education major at SHSU, Taylor enjoyed his time at Lake Ridge so much that he hopes to teach there upon graduation from college.
“I really think I have a passion for working with the students,” Taylor said. “I can help students to increase their reading and writing abilities.”
As part of one of his classes at SHSU, Taylor is writing a children’s book.
“The story will be about me going to a new school and new environment (Lake Ridge), meeting my teacher for the first time, being excited about school and looking forward to the rest of the school year.”
Taylor said the experience has motivated him to continue publishing his work – both in poetry and children’s literature.