ST. PETERSBURG — Marques A. Clark will launch his latest books entitled “Poetically Correct” and “365 Days of S.W.E.T.” at a book signing Saturday, Feb. 27, at the James Weldon Branch Library, 1059 18th Ave S.
For the young writer, it has been a turbulent journey that has led him from some of the darkest moments of his life to the accomplished young man he is today.
The second oldest of eight children with no father figure in the home, Clark said he grew up very angry. Dropping out of school and leaving home at 16, the misconceived glamour and quick money of selling drugs helped him enter the juvenile justice and prison systems.
Not until the death of his four-month-old son, Marques Antron Rediker Clark, who died in a tragic house fire on Christmas Day 2006, that he said made him re-examine his life.
“I had to make a change. “I had to make a difference and be better for my daughter,” he said, adding that he wants to leave a legacy of service for his children.
He enrolled in night school, received his GED and took Toastmaster classes, which promote public speaking. He soon won the Inspirational Speaker Championship of the County award and now speaks messages of hope and inspiration that he hopes will reach young boys through his books and his organization S.W.E.T. 4 Life.
S.W.E.T., or Speak Words of Encouragement Today, is a program that Clark developed for young boys between the ages of 10-16. This self-development program is based on his CLAP therapy, which is an acronym for character, leadership, attitude and personal development.
“It’s how to be courageous and competent in every endeavor,” said Clark.
The program assists with developing writing and reading skills and gives members the opportunity to attend field trips to such places as professional ball games and local museums.
Clark believes in following one’s dreams and implores the youth not to miss opportunities. “If it’s a dream, pursue it,” he stated. “Pursue it yourself because others won’t.”
Clark started writing and performing spoken word presentations as a catharsis to deal with the emotional upheaval of his son’s death. He described “Poetically Correct” as a collection of poems that provides “inspirational and conscious awareness.”
“It is conscious poetry that inspires others to take action,” Clark explained.
His book “365 Days of S.W.E.T.” is an extension of his self-development program and is a compilation of daily inspirational thoughts and advice for an entire year.
Don’t miss a chance to be encouraged and inspired by Clark’s words of wisdom. The book signing will begin at 1 p.m.
S.W.E.T. 4 Life mentoring sessions take place every last Thursday of the month at St. Petersburg College, Gibbs Campus, in their community room from 5:30-7 p.m., and every first Tuesday of the month at the Enoch Davis Center from 5:30-7 p.m. also.