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Granola Bar Inspires Poetry For Cliffside Park Student

Cliffside Park graduate Julia Kotaev published "her naked mind" last month.
Cliffside Park graduate Julia Kotaev published "her naked mind" last month. Photo Credit: Julia Kotaev/CliffsidePark.edu

CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. — Julia Kotaev of Cliffside Park was eating a chocolate-and-pretzel granola bar when it came to her.

“We’re so used to the regular taste of chocolate, and we’re so used to the regular person that we’ve been with for so long,” she said. “But why not be with someone else, someone new?”

Kotaev whipped out her iPhone and began furiously typing what would become a poem.

It joined dozens of others in a collection the 18-year-old St. John’s University-bound author published last month, “her naked mind.”

The poems were written throughout Kotaev’s CPHS tenure. She wouldn't have compiled her work if it weren’t for CPHS Principal Lawrence Pinto, she said.

“I was really nervous to publish it but then he read it,” Kotaev said. “It was really amazing to get [his] support.”

All of the poems depict Kotaev's thoughts in their truest form.

“All these poems are straight from my mind — they’re my thoughts,” Kotaev said. “My real, bare thoughts and my real ideas.”

There are four sections in the book: body, love, individuals and adventure.

Kotaev’s favorite poem, “Ironic,” is a love poem that uses terms that writers know.

“[Writers] could use you for a story, but they won’t make a story of you,” said Kotaev of her inspiration.

“I wanted to write a poem about a writer and so I just started connecting aspects of love to writing.”

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