When Clarkston High School senior Kira Farris was dealing with a difficult situation involving a boy a few years ago, she decided to channel her anger and other emotions into writing poems.

The Unspoken Words is a 101-page book of poetry with eight chapters exploring themes of brokenness, work, and self-discovery. It was published on December 26, 2023.

“These poems tell a story of my younger self and how I was in a strenuous situation and let a silly boy take me out of my character where I was separated from my support system,” said Kira. “The good thing is I could notice this and pull myself up. With the help of my mom, godmother, and family and friends, I was able to heal from all of that.”

Clarkston High held a book signing and meet-and-greet event in the school’s media center on February 29 to celebrate Kira’s achievement. She even conducted a Q&A session about her book and shared her motivations and journey as a new author. She also signed copies of her book for students, faculty, and staff members. Kira expressed her excitement and nervousness about being a published author.

“I didn’t have any intention of publishing them at first. I really wrote the book to see my thoughts on paper, and I wanted that chapter of my life to close,” said Kira. “When I published the book, I thought maybe my story can help someone else.”

Kira has been writing for three years, and writing The Unspoken Words took her about a year. She self-published her book through Amazon KDP, which publishes books for free. So far, she has sold 32 books and counting.

“It makes me feel great that people are actually reading my book because it lets me know that my story has been heard,” she said. “I’m very thankful for my school, especially for Ms. Harden, because I didn’t intend to tell the school about my book. When Ms. Harden found out, she said we have to have a book signing, and everyone got on board.”

Tracie Harden, the Media Specialist at Clarkston High School Library and also a published author, expressed her pride for Kira’s great accomplishment and wanted to celebrate her.

“Even though she is humble, this is something big,” said Ms. Harden. “She is self-published, and she was bold and courageous enough to put her words on paper and share them with everyone else.”

Kira intends to write additional books in the future. However, at present, she is dedicated to her education. She will be attending Savannah State University to pursue a forensic science major, aiming to become a forensic photographer. Kira says her book aims to pass along a valuable lesson.

“I hope that everyone remembers to know their worth,” Kira said. “That’s because a person’s value should never be measured by anyone other than themselves.”

To view photos from the book signing, click here.