Poet crafts custom love poems to pay for tuition

When car trouble put Saskatchewan poet Tenille Campbell behind on her tuition fees, she came up with a unique way come up with the funds.

Tenille Campbell wanted a creative way to raise funds and give back

Tenille Campbell put out a call to sell personalized poems so she could pay tuition for the upcoming semester. She says the response surprised her. (Submitted by Dani Van Steelandt)

When car trouble put Saskatchewan poet Tenille Campbell behind on her tuition fees, she thought of a unique way come up with the money.

"I wanted to fundraise but I wanted to be able to give back in a good way as well," she said. 

Campbell put out a call on Instagram: for $100 a pop, she would craft a custom love poem. The price also included a copy of her book Indian Love Poems and some custom stickers.

Within four hours, her tuition was paid and people from all over the country had contacted her.

"There's a real community stepping up and supporting me and each other," she told CBC's The Morning Edition. "It was really beautiful."

Her services included a phone call with the customer to learn more about the object of their affection and Campbell said some people really opened up during the phone calls.

"A lot of these poems were about self-love and love for their family and these very emotional things that I think all people can connect with," she said. 

"A lot of times, it ended up with us both being teary-eyed and they were like 'I'd never talk about this.'"

Campbell said she never expected to be so attached to the people she interviewed.  

"It was really intimate. It really let me step back and see what I was doing and what I wanted my poetry to do which was create connections between us and how that this was a beautiful example of it working," she said. 

She said she will consider offering the promotion again because so many people have contacted her with interest.  

"February is right around the corner," she said.

With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition