# Former Polk Middle Teacher Releases First Book of Poetry
## Unveiling “Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light”
**Saluda, [State] – September 21, 2023:** David Riddle, a former teacher at Polk Middle School, has unveiled his debut poetry collection, “Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light.” The book, a culmination of years of writing and refining, showcases Riddle’s passion for language and his keen observational skills. With its evocative imagery and heartfelt reflections, “Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light” promises to resonate with readers of all backgrounds.
**Inspiration and Influences:**
Riddle’s love for poetry traces back to his high school days, where he first encountered the works of renowned poets. His grandfather, an English professor at Wofford College, played a significant role in nurturing this passion. Riddle’s grandfather’s extensive knowledge of literature and his encouragement inspired Riddle to delve deeper into the world of poetry. The dedication in “Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light” serves as a testament to his grandfather’s profound impact on his writing journey.
**Writing and Critique Groups:**
After retiring from teaching in 2011, Riddle dedicated more time to writing and joined several writing and poetry groups in the area. One such group, a poetry critique group, proved instrumental in refining his poems and demonstrating the value of constructive criticism. Another group, the Poet Tree Group, provided a supportive environment for sharing poems, particularly during the pandemic when they met at Harmon Field. The encouragement and feedback from these groups played a crucial role in Riddle’s decision to self-publish his poetry collection.
**Preface and Writing Goals:**
In the preface of “Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light,” Riddle expresses his desire for his poems to speak to readers’ hearts, as they have done for him. He writes primarily for personal satisfaction but also enjoys creating poems for others. While he hopes to sell a few copies of his book, his primary goal is to support local booksellers by making copies available locally.
**Future Writing Plans:**
Riddle’s positive experience with self-publishing has inspired him to consider writing another book, this time focusing on his experiences as a teacher. Riddle began his teaching career in Polk County in 1986, initially working at FENCE before transitioning to teaching science to eighth graders at Tryon and Polk Middle School. His passion for education and his dedication to his students have left a lasting impact on the community.
**Advice for Aspiring Poets:**
Riddle emphasizes the importance of joining a writing or poetry group to gain valuable feedback and insights from fellow writers. He credits this approach for contributing to the success of his new book of poetry and encourages aspiring poets to pursue their writing dreams.
**Where to Find “Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light”:**
“Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light” is available for purchase at the Book Shelf in Tryon and online platforms such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Readers can also contact David Riddle directly to purchase a copy.
**Call to Action:**
If you’re looking for a collection of poetry that explores the depths of human emotion and experience, “Dust and Ashes, Fire and Light” is a must-read. With its rich imagery and poignant reflections, Riddle’s poems are sure to leave a lasting impression. Get your copy today and embark on a journey of self-discovery and reflection.