“Proper Grey Areas: A Collection of Poems,” published by Tilton House Press, was released Dec. 8. Cover courtesy Tiffany Sunday

A new poetry book from a Lake Highlands-based author tackles topics that are top of mind for many: pandemic stress and loneliness, grief, equality and more.

Tiffany Sunday’s fifth book “Proper Grey Areas: A Collection of Poems,” published by Tilton House Press, was released Dec. 8. 

Sunday has been writing since she was in third grade, so it has always been easy for her to crank out three to four poems in a sitting. But Sunday said the social isolation of the pandemic made writing a little more of a challenge. 

“When you’re a writer, you don’t realize how much you need to be with people,” she said. “All your inspiration from people saying things or doing things, we lost that.”  

However, the feelings of loneliness and longing that have been common to many in this unprecedented year inspired a slew of “rich and organic” poetry, Sunday said.

“I started writing about how I missed my closet,” she said. “There’s a poem about me missing my clothes, thinking my whole life is in my closet.”

Sunday noticed these feelings within her community during runs in the neighborhood.

“People are saying ‘I’m missing something. I’m missing the normalcy of life,’” she said. “I heard a dad say he didn’t know what he was going to do for his daughter because all the fun of Christmas was gone, and it broke my heart.” 

Sunday hopes the book helps readers treasure what they have and feel a little less alone.

“It’s more of a solace,” Sunday said. “It’s also a reflection of really appreciating what matters.” 

The book is also more personal to Sunday, she said, as she broaches inequality and her experiences with abuse. 

“This truly gets to the heart of what people deal with, that silence that sits down there,” Sunday said. “If there’s a mom dealing with this, she would be able to relate to it and say ‘Okay, I’m not alone.’”