News

UM’s own student-author publishes book of poetry

Heaven’s Gate, a book of poems by UM student Alexander Martin, is inspiring a renewed interest among UM students in contemporary poetry.

Martin, a 23-year-old senior from Miami, is a creative writing major who has experienced personal tragedies that have aged him beyond his 23 years.

The book is a collection of poems that fall under the genre of “urban spirituality” and reflect Martin’s life experiences growing up in the culturally diverse environment of Miami.

Martin’s father committed suicide before he was born. He was raised by his mom and three older sisters in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and always saw himself as destined to succeed.

“It’s truly amazing for a young individual such as Alex to be a student and also to publish a book at the same time,” Cecilia Suarez, junior, said.

Martin started his writing career by publishing an independent newspaper called the Cipher from 1997 to 2001 that focused on the underground Hip Hop scene and urban music culture.

Martin says that the demands of being both a student and an author have forced him to manage his time well.

“Being busy allowed me to improve my time management skills and focus on doing work for classes and spending time on my writing projects,” Martin said.

He wants his book of poetry to reach out to a diverse group of people who seek a deeper level of understanding in their lives.

“I want the poems in Heaven’s Gate to be able to inspire people to reach another level in their personal life,” Martin said.

Martin has performed many of his poems live at open mic nights and at local poetry slams in Miami.

The book has been popular among various sections of the UM student body.

“Alex’s poems take you to a deeper level of thinking and allow you to think outside the box,” Rodney Rouzard, junior, said.

According to Martin, the title Heaven’s Gate was chosen for two different reasons.

“I used the title Heaven’s Gate for shock value so people would be intrigued and come up to me and ask me about the book,” Martin said. “On a deeper level, the title can be interpreted as using your mind to reach Heaven.”

Martin has been selling his book in the UM Breezeway for the past week and has been personally discussing the poems with readers and signing copies of the book, which can be purchased for $5 a copy.

The poems, with titles such as “Silent Love” and “Earth Cannot Contain Me,” have challenged and inspired readers.

“The poem ‘Stolen Souls’ is what intrigued me to buy the book. I love the content – it’s an expression of mixed culture with true moral statements all brought together,” Silvana Marmolejos, freshman, said.

Along with moral and spiritual overtones, Martin’s poems are infused with sexuality and discuss issues that college students can relate to.

“Alex’s book is off the hook. It has an uplifting spirit and something for everyone,” Junkori Davis, junior, said. “My favorite track is a sensual poem titled ‘Body Talk.'”

Martin used his own company called Origin Omni Media to handle the design and publishing of Heaven’s Gate.

Martin plans to promote his book at Florida International University this semester and is working on his next book, a yet-untitled collection of new poems and short stories that he hopes to sell nationwide.

Ben Enfield can be contacted at b.enfield@umiami.edu

November 21, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.