Cover of Dustin Nispel’s book "The Tower." Submitted
Cover of Dustin Nispel's book "The Tower." Submitted

Dustin Nispel has dealt with a lot of issues he says he thinks many people deal with — depression, addiction, heartbreak, grief.

The York resident says he began coping with those issues through poetry, a form of therapy for him, about 10 years ago.

It was also about 10 years ago that Nispel says he began reading tarot cards. It was a card that would inspire the title of his first published book of poetry, "The Tower."

"I was at rock bottom and that card often came up," he says. "It reminded me I had to rebuild myself with a stronger foundation."

Therapeutic: Nispel says he worked at honing his craft since that time, writing poetry and performing at spoken word events. What he says was once scary has now become a necessary catharsis.

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"Without poetry, I wouldn't be here," he says. "Now it's become important that I get the message out there."

Nispel says he has performed all over the East Coast and won multiple slam championships. Generally a spoken word poet, he says he wanted to publish his work to get it to more people.

"When it's put in black-and-white, it can heal scars, heal people," Nispel says.

The words, he says, are relatable to nearly anyone, but when read can be perceived differently by everyone.

"When you read a poem — everyone has a different perception of it," he says. "You hear your own voice, the words in your own voice, and it creates a whole new meaning unique to you."

Relatable: By being able to read his poetry, he says, people who are in a dark place will see they are not alone.

"We all have our own dramas," Nispel says. "You go through it with this sense of it just being you and you're bearing the entire load of that yourself."

The book compiles some of his best work and is based on his experiences throughout life. Nispel's friend and fellow artist Bobby Yagodich contributed artwork for the nearly 80-page book. The two perform together in the trance band called These Seeds, blending poetry and music.

Nispel published the book through PoemSugar Press, the independent startup founded by Carla Christopher, York City's former poet laureate and current arts and culture liason. The experience, he says, was fantastic.

"They really worked with me to get this together — to edit, to lay it out, to promote it," Nispel says. "They were really great to work with and supportive."

Nispel will be joined by Christopher — as well as several other local artists, poets and musicians — to celebrate the book's release Saturday, Aug. 16, on the second floor of the Strand-Capitol, 50 N. George St., York. The event will be free and open to the public.

"I think it's important for community to come together to see art's change on the community — to celebrate fellowship,"

— Reach Amy Peiffer at apeiffer@yorkdispatch.com.

Celebrate the release of "The Tower"

York poet Dustin Nispel will celebrate the release of his first book of poetry, "The Tower," at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, on the second floor of the Strand-Capitol in York City. Guests should use the Philadelphia Street entrance.

The evening will feature live painting, spoken word performances by local artists, including Nispel and Carla ThePriestess Christopher, and live music.

Nispel will hold a book signing following the performances. Copies will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit www.denpoetry.com.