The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

A love for words

Marlette Reaves, third place winner of the City College Poetry Slam, shares her favorite female poet, Maya Angelou. Kate Paloy | [email protected]

City College student and poet Marlette Reaves is a 23-year-old English major who says she’s known for her trademark love poems that were influenced by her yearning for true love.

Inspired by music and the desire to have an actual romantic relationship, Reaves says she began writing at the age of 14 and has been sharing her raw emotion ever since.

Reaves, who won third place at the City College Poetry Slam contest on Sept. 10, aspires to encourage people of all ages who go through the highs and lows of being in love and says she hopes to touch as many souls as possible throughout her journey of becoming a famous poet, author and an accomplished song writer.

“When I recite, I want people to be inspired to want true love, to get over heartbreak and to understand that people only put you through dirt so you could see that you want to be clean and free,” says Reaves.

Reaves’ love poems not only inspire her fans who can watch her recite them on her YouTube channel, her friends say, but also those who are close to her because they are relatable and pertain to real life.

City College student Terry Buford, 21, is a close friend of Reaves and an inspiring poet. He says he remembers a Valentine’s Day card that Reaves gave him when they both attended Luther Burbank High School.

The poem made him feel really good, he says.

“So good that I can’t even explain with words,” Buford says. “Reaves is an amazing person.”

Reaves’ love poems tell a story which represent who she truly is as a person, however they also creates a safe haven for her fans who may be too afraid to express their own feelings of heartache.
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“I have cried all night in misery and pain,” Reaves wrote in “My Hidden Pain.” “Tears coming out my eyes from all the hidden pain. There’s nothing in my life that caused so much heartbreak.”

Reaves’ poems are not just nouns and verbs thrown together for entertainment, rather true emotion expressed with confidence and courage say her friends.

“[Reaves’ poetry] symbolizes a very strong part of her,” say Buford. “It’s bold and through her writing she relates to a lot of people who can’t express themselves like they want to. People don’t have to feel alone. Her poem’s give people a sense of confidence and boosts their self esteem.”

Rebekah Hampton, 22, is also a close friend of Reaves since high school and says she is inspired by her friend of five years. Hampton says Reaves’ poems are a representation of what everybody is going through and feels like she can relate to them on a personal level.

“Her poems make you happy or sad,” says Hampton. “I can feel what she is talking about, especially when I am going though something similar.”

Reaves is on a mission to stand up, speak out and inspire others with her love of poetry, she says. Reaves often participates in open mic night at the Florin Business Arts Complex on Saturday nights in the Obama room.

Reaves says she has grown up from being a shy 14-year-old girl searching for love, to a outspoken and motivated young woman who is in a serious relationship since she met her true love here at City College in 2008 after high school.

Determination, Reaves says, has become her motivation.

“You can achieve your dreams as well just make sure you are encouraged by yourself before anybody else tries to put you down,” says Reaves. “Time can only tell when you find true love and love yourself first before you love anyone else.”

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