Teen poet from Mitchells Plain to launch second anthology

Leila Alexander has written her second book, Invisible Teen.

Leila Alexander has written her second book, Invisible Teen.

Published Mar 15, 2024

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A young poet from Mitchells Plain is not only on the verge of releasing her second anthology, but is nominated in the Cape Flats Literacy Awards.

Leila Alexander’s latest book, Invisible Teen, is a compilation of poetry that speaks to teenagers.

She takes readers on a journey adults and parents need to listen to before they judge teens.

“I am excited for my new book. I hope it reaches many people. Sometimes people need to feel like they are not alone. Knowing my book might help someone is an accomplishment,” she said.

Leila said her everyday surroundings and experiences were her inspiration for the second book.

“Sometimes I see something, hear something, and start forming ideas in my head.

“I start writing a rough draft of what I want to say, then when I’m done I clean it up and read it to my family to see what they think.

“I also get my inspiration from my family, friends, and things I observe. Writing is my safe haven.”

Leila said the book also featured a poem addressed to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Due to Ramadaan and the Easter holidays, the book launch that was set for later this month has been rescheduled for April 27.

Leila Alexander’s latest book, Invisible Teen,is a compilation of poetry that speaks to teenagers.Picture:Supplied

The teen’s first book, Young Mind… Unspoken Thoughts, was a compilation of her poetry written when she struggled to deal with her grandmother’s death.

The book is on the shelves of several libraries in the Western Cape and North West.

Last year Leila also received a Pen Soldiers in Africa award for the book at the sixth African Annual Global Authors Honouree Awards.

The book is up for another award as she was nominated for the Best Anthology Written by a Single Teen in the Cape Flats Literacy Awards.

“I am looking forward to the awards, being nominated is already a win,” she said.

Her mother, Karen Alexander-Haddon, said her daughter was an ambitious teenager with big dreams.

“She sticks to her values and principles and that makes us proud parents. This is just an added bonus.”

Founder of popular Cape Flats Stories, Stanley Jacobs, said he was blown away when he heard some of Leila’s poems.

“I told myself that this can’t be this child’s work. I realised this child is very talented because of the quality of her work. You can feel that she knows what she is talking about. She speaks to you as an individual,” he said.

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