For SUNY Oswego student Rickey Strachan, his recent publication of a book of poetry titled “Things Cupid Whispered” was a labor of love -- in more ways than one.

Although the book, a collection of poems on different aspects of love, was published in January of this year, its origins go back much further.

“I’ve been writing poetry for seven years now,” said Strachan. “I lived in Ghana for a little bit, and one day I just really missed home. So, I wrote a poem called ‘Memories.’ And I felt these emotions, and they were really powerful.”

Strachan wrote poems throughout his high school years, with poetry dedicated to his past crushes, or to his friends.

He was struck by the emotions that came through his poems, and continued writing. He first attempted to publish a collection of poetry in high school, but said, “the process did not go the way I wanted it to… I didn’t have any help.”

However, he says that he started taking his writing more seriously upon arriving at Oswego. This led to the publishing of “Things Cupid Whispered.” 

“Last year, at the end [of the year], I realized that I actually knew what to do,” said Strachan. “I had a lot of poetry at that time, maybe close to 300 [poems]. So I was like, ‘No, let me try this again, the right way.’”

He began compiling poems, and decided to publish the book himself, through Amazon. While self-publishing can be daunting, Strachan said that Amazon made the process fairly painless.

“They made it seem pretty simple,” he said. “It was quick, and more importantly, it was straightforward… Basically, it was as simple as having a manuscript and uploading it, then just hitting all the requirements that they needed.”

However, while the process was simple, it also proved to be tedious at times.

“I did multiple grammar checks, more than I’ve ever done for anything in my life,” Strachan said. “I was up at 3 a.m. for the next two weeks before dropping it, just looking for little things… But I just knew that this was about the content. I felt like the content was worth it, I felt like it was something that I wanted people to see.”

Love and understanding

After the editing process was complete, Strachan showed previews of the book to others, to get a sense of how they would perceive the content.

“Everybody seemed to not only enjoy the book, but understand what the purpose was,” he said. “My biggest issue was people not getting why I wrote certain poems, or what I was trying to say, but people really seemed to understand it.”

After the entire process was complete, the book was officially released on Jan. 28. It contains about 105 full poems, according to Strachan.

“The response was pretty good,” he said. “Hopefully it continues to grow like that, but it made me feel like it was something worth reading.”

Strachan, who is in the process of changing his major to public relations, also mentioned a possible follow-up to “Things Cupid Whispered” in the future. However, his writing career will likely not stop there.

“Part 2 is probably just the beginning,” Strachan said. “I definitely can’t think of a reason I would stop. I’ll have a really long writer’s block, like, ‘Okay, I guess we’re over now.’ But then something just comes to me… So obviously there’s something here that’s probably for life.”

Visit “Things Cupid Whispered” on Amazon to buy a copy or learn more.

-- Written by Dylan McGlynn, Class of 2021