Poetry As Therapy: How Cozett Dunn Uses Writing To Find Kinship

Local poet Cozett Dunn on how she has developed as a writer and is using her art to express herself


It’s hard not to feel lost sometimes on the various paths we all take through life. Feeling unconnected can make one think that they are all alone in the world, and mental solitude can be a stressful prison from which so many have difficulty freeing themselves. Cozett Dunn may have some helpful advice for those who are going through similar situations to what she had experienced.

“I just really needed to feel a sense of shared humanity. An allowing of being human,” Cozett said.

The Chattanooga-based poet and writer realized that she possessed a proclivity for words and etymology early, but it wasn’t until her mid-thirties that her interest became more than just a hobby.

“I had come to this place of ‘necessitated’ crisis in my life where I was struggling with disillusionment and burnout.  Feeling a lot of angst during that time, I began looking for the experiences of other people who had gone or were going through some of the things I was facing.”

She began by browsing writing blogs and came to realize that many people utilized writing as a way to mitigate their inability to express themselves to those around them.

“I discovered that as I read, I could feel their words.  I remember feeling a sense of awe that some people were able and willing to be so candid and raw and beautifully expressive about the tough spots in their lives.”

Dunn was inspired to write her own poetry and now posts regularly to her blog and social media.

“It was a decision I made to not only acknowledge the gritty things about myself, but to embrace them, and maybe even to put them in other people's faces as a challenge.  I wanted to challenge how I felt I was being perceived.  I wanted to challenge certain misconceptions about life and spirituality that I had been taught to embrace and I wanted to do so openly.  I wanted to challenge myself to be more expressive and less reserved.”

She hopes that by sharing her inner-self through her poetry, she can help her readers not only give themselves permission to exist as they are but to explore their own boundaries and learn new things about themselves.

“There should be no apologies for experiencing and living out each of the expressions that life can take.  Be unapologetic in the face of people or institutions that tend to squelch your self-expression or propagate guilt for being yourself. I hope that whoever reads my writing is led to profound self-discovery and self-expression. I hope they feel deeply ‘with’ me.”

Dunn maintains an extensive writing blog here and her Instagram can be found, @chattown_poet.


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