In the midst of returning home from the US Army and returning to civilian life, Kyle Toon, a Conscientious Objector, found himself in an identity crisis. Contemplating the belief system, values, and ethics he adapted once joining the military. Whilst in the state of confusion, other unpacked and unfinished situations were eating at his core and causing erraticism, in which his wife encouraged him to go back to therapy.
“I rediscovered my love for poetry, I’ve been writing since 9 and began implementing writing exercises to process emotions, thoughts and pain,” Toon shared, “this transcended to writing full poetry pieces and compiling them on my phone, and word documents. The more I wrote, the more convinced I became of the notion to becoming a full-fledged writer and poet.”
After Toon went through doubt about the transition from military to civilian life, he realized that going through the countless therapeutic sessions, prayer, and meditation sessions that he needed to invest himself into artistic expression.
“I searched for a black owned publisher, and found J&B Publishing, a warm and compassionate literary professional gave me a chance of a lifetime,” Toon went on, “The publisher, Jessica, gave me a chance of a lifetime."
The Depths Below conception occurred after the brutal slaying of George Floyd, the publication journey began in October of 2021 and took approximately seven months to completion. The book is broken down into three different mindsets/point of views that depict the arduous journey of identity reconstruction – coupled with the evolution of crystallizing knowledge into creative wisdom. The Depths Below consists of 50 poetry pieces and two written dialogue discourses that expound on identity development/rediscovery and conscious parenting.
When asked what he would want his desired outcome to be, Toon responded, “My desired outcome is to proactively contribute to the Black literary movement and the 21st century Creative Renaissance. My Mother is a poet but never published any of her work despite receiving so much recognition, acceptance, and celebration when she would write for special occasions. I feel compelled to honor her and my other ancestors who did not or were not able to share the talents that God has granted them to the world by reaching for the most distant star.”
The Depths Below can be purchased here.
Follow Kyle Toon here.