A Valley Stream student with a passion for poetry has published two books of original works.

Umaima Ali, a sophomore at Valley Stream South High School, recently published the books "Count My Heartbeat" and "The Heart's Vulnerability," which are 101 pages and 75 pages, respectively. Both books were published independently and are available through online outlets.

Ali partly attributes her inspiration behind publishing the poetry to the support of her former English teachers. She also said her love of writing stems from her habit of keeping a journal, a practice that allows her to consistently express her thoughts on paper.

"I've always had a heart to reach out to others and make them feel a certain way that could bring back memories or experiences," Ali said of her creative writing. "I want their spines to shiver at a sentence, their eyes to light up, or maybe even crack a smile."

So far, Ali has sold a few dozen copies of the books since September, she said. Her next goal is to find an editor or publisher who can help further her exposure.

"My poetry is meant for others, but it's also meant for my state of mind," Ali said. "It gives me satisfaction."

Ali's other interests include the study of criminology; she  hopes to pursue a career with the FBI.

Umaima Ali, a sophomore at Valley Stream South High School,...

Umaima Ali, a sophomore at Valley Stream South High School, has published two books of poetry. Credit: Valley Stream Central High School District

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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