Localize It: Local writer releases debut poetry novel

Justin Wetch is a nineteen year old writer and photographer, majoring at UAA in business marketing. Wetch has always considered himself a writer of sorts, but had only begun to take it more seriously in the past few years. He began getting into poetry more specifically as he grew older, and with that began writing poems that would eventually be put together in his debut novel.

“My tango with poetry started when I was in seventh grade when one of my teachers made me learn how to write poems. I hated it at the time, but he knew that the only thing I hated more than poetry was not succeeding, so I ended up writing my first poems. From there I just kept writing, and enjoying the process of poetry writing as I endured it,” Wetch said.

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Justin Wetch, a 19-year-old business marketing major at UAA has recently published "Bending the Universe," a collection of 100 poems he's been working on for the past 5 years. Photo credit: Young Kim

Fast forwarding today, Wetch has his debut novel released, titled “Bending the Universe.” This novel is five years in the making and was finally put out on Dec. 14 of last year. Wetch began writing the poems for the book without knowing what the end result would be, and not expecting the support it would get.

“The book was number one on the poetry section of Amazon for eight days, and since then has taken the spot a few more times. It is unreal to see how many people are supporting my book, and relating to what I have written in it,” Wetch said.

When in the process of creating “Bending the Universe,” Wetch looked beyond other poets to find inspiration, where words were influential in different forms. The Hamilton musical, and Kendrick Lamar were two sources of inspiration for Wetch’s work.

“Of course, anything I create will likely have already been created,” Wetch said, “But by avoiding reading other poetry and finding other forms of influential words to inspire me, I think I was able to create my work from within, without knowing or caring that it had already been made. That helped make my work truthful and more real.”

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With the success of “Bending the Universe” and the positive response that Wetch has received from it, Wetch hopes to create new content soon. He wrote about subjects that he believes most can relate to, and put out the novel in a way that allows easy access to anyone.

“When you create things that are honest, people feel that and just respond to it positively,” Wetch said.

“Bending the Universe” is available to purchase in print, and also to read for free online.