Hicksville resident Katrin Atienza is 33 years old and proud of it-so much so that she incorporated her age into the title of her first poetry book, 33: A Collection of 33 Poems. Like the title suggests, the book features 33 hand-selected poems Atienza wrote between 1995 and 2008. Thirty of the poems are written solely in English while the last three are featured in both English and Atienza's native German.
In an interview with the Hicksville Illustrated News, Atienza said the decision to write the poetry book, which she self-published through CreateSpace.com, came at a time when things in her life were changing. "There was a period in my life where I neglected my need to write - from personal reasons - way too many - to late hours for my career," said Atienza. "A lot of things have changed [last] year, and I finally started to dedicate time to my poetry again. The selection of old and new poems in my first book is a 'celebration' of launching that 'new chapter' in my life."
As a result, Atienza's debut collection features deep poems that will take the reader on an inspirational journey filled with all sorts of emotions. "[The poems] reflect the things that move us and make us or break us in our everyday lives," she states on Amazon.com. "They are as torn and multifaceted as our lives and this world: nothing is just black and white."
In writing poetry, Atienza said she gets her inspiration from her surroundings. For example, her Times Square poem was written while in Starbucks at Times Square while the Greeley Square poems included in the collection were written while actually sitting there. "I write those in the actual location I write about," said Atienza, adding that she prefers to write "on the floor, on a rooftop, in Central Park on the grass [or] in a coffee shop with a view out the window."
As for other topics, Atienza said inspirations "stem from either personal experiences, a conversation I had, something I saw/witnessed, and/or somehow caught my attention and sparked the idea for a poem. I jot down ideas, scraps, topics in my different kind of 'little black book.'" She said her favorite quote is from German fiction writer Franz Kafka - "Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." As a result, she lives her life by the motto "Age is not a number, it's an attitude."
And, at age 33, Atienza already has a long list of experiences and accomplishments to her credit. In 2001, Atienza followed up her bachelor's degrees, she has three - German, political science and business - with a master's in American studies from Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany. Shortly after, she relocated to the United States, first settling in Queens and residing there for about eight years before relocating with her husband to Hicksville in 2008.
Of the decision to live in Hicksville, Atienza said, "I am really a 'big city person,' but a house is just not affordable in Manhattan or Queens so we decided to look in Nassau County. Hicksville is great because it is a major transportation hub. It has a rather diverse community, lots of shopping, the mall and some of the lowest taxes in Nassau County."
While she now calls Hicksville home, Atienza, whose only family here is her husband and in-laws, said she could "literally write a novel" about adjusting to living in the states. "The initial adjustment was misleadingly easy because everything just seemed so 'cool,'" she said. "Once the initial excitement wears off, you start discovering all those subtle differences in day-to-day life, bureaucracy, work ethic, inter-human relations and those differences can be deep though sublime."
Atienza said she tries to make a trip back home every two years to see her family. In the meantime, she has quite enough to keep her busy. Aside from being employed as a marketing director for a Manhattan-based insurance company, Atienza also runs a Great Neck-based graphic design studio in the evenings, winning awards for both. In her "spare time." Atienza enjoys photography as a hobby and often snaps images of nature and such New York City streetscapes as Central Park. The self-admitted "Internet addict" enjoys interior design, particularly of her own home.
Atienza is also working on a second book, this one featuring what she refers to as her "signature style of deep-thought poetry." She said that while her first book is a collection of broad topics about life, love, heartache, New York City, etc., for her next she plans to focus specifically on one thematic area. "The next book might go into the direction of fate, destiny, purpose of life [and] soulmates," said Atienza.
For more information on Katrin Atienza and her work, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katrin-Atienza/29432584775 or http://katspoetry.wordpress.com/ or http://www.katconcept.com. To purchase 33: A Collection of 33 Poems, visit Amazon.com.