Keinya Graves

Born in Clarksville Tennessee taking a short detour in Inglewood California, I grew up watching my mother, sister and maternal grandmother struggle through painful and failed relationships. As I continued my growth into womanhood, I took solace in romantic and sexually graphic novelist such as Jackie Collins and Terry McMillian promising myself that the relationships in those novels were the ones that I wanted to pattern my life after. After becoming a single mother at the age of 17, then again at the age of 20, I found myself in exactly the type of bond that I swore I would avoid. Surviving seven years of verbal and mental abuse along with the arrival of my third child, God stepped in and made me face the reality of life. Never having been officially on my own the stress began to overwhelm me. My vocational mentor read the poetry that I would write on a daily basis as a release and encouraged me to write my story down. Over the years and several conversations with friends and family Garden of Black and White Roses was born.