TAMIU Grad, Author Publishes First Collection, Shares March 19
Posted: 3/6/14

TAMIU Grad, Author Publishes
First Collection, Shares March 19

Lyrics of Poems: A Collection of Lyrics, Poems, and Prose will be shared at a poetry reading and book signing event at the Texas A&M International University Bookstore Wednesday, Mar. 19 from 1 – 3 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public.

North Dakota native and TAMIU graduate Rafael Contreras, will be reciting poems and lyrics from his recently published book.

Rafael Contreras

Lyrics of Poems is a collection of song lyrics, poems, and prose inspired during my music experience in North Dakota,” explained Contreras. In 2004, he began writing and recording music as a depiction of his life in high school and his fondness for literature and poetry.

Contreras explained that his lyrics and poems represent his transition from high school to now.

“From love to hardship, to despair and motivation, each piece is written from an artist for an artist,” said Contreras. The book illustrates Contreras’ development as an artist and is arranged in chronological order with the first pieces being from his early years.

“Obviously as a human being you go through ups and downs and I always saw it as a platform to express myself, my concerns, my love, my motivation,” he expressed.

The idea for publishing a book came after Contreras felt the need to copyright his work and protect its authenticity.

“As an artist, you want to protect your lyrics and I always felt at that time that if I wanted to protect my catchphrases and my witty quotes I would have to copyright it and that’s where I got the idea of writing the book,” stated Contreras.

In addition to publishing a book, Contreras began an online blog dedicated to help young individuals become professionals in both work and school.  TheProfessionalist.com, which launched in January 2013, provides exclusive interviews and experiences from other professionals and TAMIU alumni. 

“You can find interviews from TAMIU alumni, you can also find articles on time management, productivity, how to prepare for interviews and even style – it’s a conglomeration of professional advice for young individuals,” explained Contreras. 

The blog is geared toward high school graduates or students “who are at that tipping point of becoming young professionals,” he explained. Contreras now works at the TAMIU Office of Recruitment and School Relations as an outreach and retention specialist, and knows first hand what incoming students are going through.

 “Because I work on a day to day basis with students, who eventually become college students, I see a lot of need for professionalism, ” Contreras explained, “The blog is a free service that can be accessed by anyone who seeks advice about school, potential employers or a few motivational words to get the day started. It documents my journey as a young professional and my readers can travel with me.”

Contreras has worked with over 1000 students at TAMIU and loves being able to relate to his students and guide them through the tough transition from high school to college.

Lyrics of Poems is Contreras’ first published book, but hopes to publish a second installment soon.

“I plan to release a second installment by the end of this year or early next year. Eventually, I’d like to take my experience with my side project at TheProfessionalist.com and lay it out on a publishing platform for young professionals to read,” Contreras noted.

The book Lyrics of Poems: A Collection of Lyrics, Poems, and Prose is currently available online at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.

For more information about the author, contact him at rafael.contreras@tamiu.edu or 326.2770, or click on http://theprofessionalist.com

For TAMIU Bookstore hours or information, contact Mayra Garcia, assistant store manager at 326.8082 or bookstore@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu