For Vincent John Ancona, writing was never a choice, but more a way of life. Ever since he published his first poem at the age of 13, he knew that poetry was his calling. Oftentimes misunderstood by his peers, family and classmates, he found poetry a rock in a world built on quicksand, a way to make sense of messy human existence: "I felt and still do feel like an anthropologist of sorts. I was always on the outside looking in...trying to understand human behavior from a distance...I never felt like I fit in anywhere." Poetry has played a seminal role in his life, pulsates through his roots and has an undeniable place in his future.
Ancona has published a collection of poems, "Introspection" (Amazon, LuLu Press) which recently was rated #22 by the publisher, out of thousands, in the category "Top 100 Poetry Books". He has garnered the attention of such renowned artists and writers as David LaChapelle, Susaye Green, Bryant McGill and CA Conrad, to name a few. He was one of four poets nationwide to receive an honorable mention for the esteemed McGill Poetry Award, and has been published in various magazines and journals nationwide, such as The American Review Literary Journal, The Bicycle Review, Web Digest Weekly, The Fox Chase Review and Wilhelm Magazine, among others.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Ancona's work is his ability to dig deep into something – to go further than most would care to tread. He often gets lost inside a subject and writes poems about "...finding my way through obstacles, understanding something from the inside out." Entrenched with simple, yet challenging metaphors, his work seeks an understanding to the natural order of things. It chips and picks away at the layers surrounding naturally occurring phenomena in everyday life.
"Just when I think I have heard [it] all, I gasp at the fluid device [Ancona] finds in language. Vincent has taken what is abstract and made it sublime in context and content. When [these poems] emerge to the world, [their] luster will blind the eyes and shock the complacent into a new place. I cannot wait to see that happen...I am as proud of his work as if he were my own child," says American singing / songwriting legend Susaye Green, former member of The Supremes, who also co-wrote hit songs with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
Ancona says he owes a great debt of gratitude to Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bryant McGill for 'discovering' him online and encouraging him to pursue writing full time. 'Without Bryant, I may never have had the courage to believe that I had what it took to succeed at such a low-paying and unpopular occupation as being a poet." says Ancona. "Bryant really helped to change my outlook on life, go after my dreams, and still inspires me today with his continuous friendship and unyielding desire to make the world a better place through the arts."
Ancona managed to catch the attention of other famous artists too: David LaChapelle, world famous photographer, took a liking to his poetry after he wrote a poem about LaChapelle's "Auguries Of Innocence" exhibit at the Tony Shafrazi gallery in Manhattan. Ancona attended the show at the recommendation of legendary makeup artist Sharon Gault, a close friend of David's, who found Ancona's poetry online and became a fan. "I was shocked to see how few people realized that David's show was based on the old William Blake poem...it seemed like they were there to see and be seen. It made me very sad," says Ancona.
Ancona is currently working on the final edits and seeking a publisher for his second book, "Intro To Planet Earth," which will feature a combination of absurdist wit and morbid humor. He is grateful to other celebrated poets and artists, like CA Conrad Rae Desmond Jones and Liz Krick who routinely provide him with positive feedback on the new collection. He continues to work vigilantly at building a name for himself and living his dream of being a poet and artist in the 21st century.
Ancona currently lives in Philadelphia.
Sandy Smith is the former managing editor of the Penn Current at the University of Pennsylvania and founding editor of Postscript at Widener University. The two publications won a combined seven awards for excellence during his tenure with them. He is a graduate of Harvard University.