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Nikki Herrin uses poetry as release

Wayne Alum is softball coach and English teacher

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The old joke is: “He was a poet but he didn’t know it but his feet show it because they are Longfellows.”

But that’s not the case for published poet Nikki Herrin of Wayne.

Her book, The Progression, is a book of poetry on sale on Amazon or at Savvy Parke in Purcell.

It’s a book about progressing after a failed relationship.

Herrin is a 2016 graduate of Wayne High School and played on a State Champion softball team her freshman year in 2012.

She played college softball at East Central University for a year before spending three years as a  student assistant for the Tigers.

After earning her degree in English Education, she taught at Norman North for a year before returning to her Alma Mater to teach junior and senior English at Wayne. She is also in her second year as the head coach for the fast-pitch and slow-pitch softball teams.

Herrin actually started writing poetry while she was attending ECU.

“That’s where the love began,” Herrin said in a recent interview with The Purcell Register. “From there it took off and flourished.”

In her 46 page book Herrin reports there are around 45 poems.

“It’s a way for me to cope,” she said. “Any time I experience emotion that I don’t know what to do with it verbally. If I am having an emotion that I can’t process but it can be by putting it into words that’s what I do.

“Poetry allows me to do that,” Herrin continued. “Writing and feeling inspiration because of life experiences like your upbringing and culture of all kinds of things that culminate together.”

She reports the book doesn’t really come from that. She says her faith is integrated in the book and she feels fortunate to have been reared in a two-parent household.

Herrin admits softball was her fulfillment for a long time.

But she says poetry is really beautiful and when she’s not teaching or coaching she writes poems.

“It’s really important for me that I do this well. That is the most important thing,” Herrin said.

Herrin said there are times where she cannot find the words to fully capture the experience.

“Sometimes I have an idea that I cannot find the words to culminate the experience. A lot of times I start a poem and jot down a few ideas,” Herrin said. “Sometimes it has been a year, but I eventually finish it. If I don’t love it, I scrap it.

The Progression is about grieving she said.

“Each chapter is a stage of grief,” Herrin said. “I have to grieve my way through and there are anger cycles as well. The book is about falling in love.”

Herrin said she was in love but the guy just wanted to be friends.

“I was in the grief process and wanted it to work out. That didn’t stop the emotion.

“He didn’t feel the same way,” she said. “He didn’t have a relationship with the Lord and he didn’t feel the same way,” the teacher/coach said.

“Relationships can be on an island and not something beautiful. I’m not the only one I promise.

“It can be a lonely process but you really do not feel like it in the process. When it doesn’t work out it hurts and you have to process it and move on. It’s tough,” she admitted.

Hence a published book of poetry by an educator and coach.

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