Activism to poetry: Mazumdar’s collection inspired by struggle of adolescence


Lilly Gorman

Coppell High School senior Roma Mazumdar recently published a book of poems called The Beginning of My BS. Mazumdar writes about her life experiences and perspective on the world.

By Anvitha Reddy, Coppell High School

Each page covered in sparkly pen, journals filled with nearly a decade’s worth of emotion sat untouched in Coppell High School senior Roma Mazumdar’s room. Through all of her frustrations and joys, writing was her outlet.

Her collection of poems were untouched until CHS teacher Stephanie Spaete’s IB English class required Mazumdar to write poetry, causing her to look into the years of poetry, some even written during her time at Denton Creek Elementary. After looking through her old work Mazumdar was inspired to publish a book. The Beginning of My BS was published last month more than six months after the process began.

With Spaete’s assurance, Mazumdar’s confidence surged, which gave her the inspiration to publish a collection of her poetry. Through this lengthy process, Mazumdar began to believe in her writing and herself.

“I think it gave me [a] sense of accomplishment and made me feel a lot more confident,” Mazumdar said.

Though publishing a book wasn’t always her dream, poetry functioned as an outlet for Mazumdar throughout her childhood.

“When she was in elementary school, I went to her room, and I saw her journal,” Mazumdar’s mother Gargi Mazumdar said. “In those pages, she was just writing and writing. She was only in second grade, [but she still turned to writing to] release her sadness or happiness.”

Roma’s book is a collection of poetry from her middle school years to now. The earliest poems were written when she was in eighth grade at CMS North, but the process of publishing started over six months ago and required constant revisions of her original manuscript.

“[Getting a publisher] required me to send a manuscript of my best poems to a bunch of publishers,” Roma said. “I got lots of rejections and no answers, and I needed endorsements from big authors in order [to get a publisher].”

After several weeks of contacting publishers, Archway Publishing, a section of Simon Schuster, expressed an interest in publishing her work.

Through all the contracts and long business calls that require immense dedication, Roma’s personality shined.

With the help of her father, Sanjay Mazumdar,  Roma dealt with the legal and business contracts necessary to publish a book as a minor. Though the legal process was long and tedious, Roma stayed determined to publish her work.

“She’s just very energetic, personable and driven,” Spaete said. “When she finds something she’s passionate about, like her poetry, she goes with it and doesn’t stop.”

One of Roma’s biggest passions is her activism against child marriage, something she witnessed in India this summer while filming a documentary. The documentary, On Her Feet, is a combination of her biggest passions, writing and activism.

“The poems that I am most excited about are focused on child marriage, which is a big topic for me,”  Roma said. “It taught me about how good my life is, and I wrote a lot about that.”

Roma’s book explores a unique side of her, something rarely grasped by her outgoing personality.

“[Her poetry]  is her true voice,” Mrs. Mazumdar said. “She is practical, but her book is full of emotion.”

Her book connects with a large audience, showing a deep insight in to her emotions.

“What really struck me with her book was how relatable it is, especially from a 17-year old to an adult. If I can relate, I’m sure everyone will get something out of it,” Spaete said.

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on November 22, 2019.