Seymour woman publishes poetry book


A Seymour woman’s inclination to write began when she was a child, right after she learned how to hold a pencil.

Hillary Pacheco, 27, spends most of her days surrounded by books at the Jackson County Public Library, where she works as an information services teen specialist.

The library can be a pretty cool place to work for someone who is a writer, an avid reader and now a published author, such as Pacheco.

“I’ve kept journals all of my life. Then I took my creative writing course in college in 2020,” Pacheco said. “That was during the time everything was shut down, and I had plenty of time to write, and I started getting ideas for my book.”

A 2013 graduate of Seymour High School, she attended Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I did all my studies online and we had our graduation online, and it was really surreal,” Pacheco said. “I was the only one in my course of study to graduate, and when they brought the names up as a list, mine was by itself for an associate degree in library science.”

Pacheco said that was the last year for the library program at Ivy Tech Columbus, so she’s the last of her kind.

Her first published book, “Anthology of Bedlam,” a collection of poetry, was released June 28 and is available in both paperback and e-book formats on

“My book is proudly self-published, and I made my own cover, wrote my own stuff and did my own illustrations,” Pacheco said. “One of my co-workers has published through Amazon before and answered some questions for me, so I thought I’d just put it out there and see where it goes.”

When asked what inspired her title for the book of poetry, she said if you look up the word bedlam in the dictionary, it means confusion and uproar.

“That’s exactly the way life feels sometimes, and I wanted the collection to speak on the waves of emotion that take us through the confusion,” she said. “So the anthology kind of touches on all of that — the anxiety, the grief, the love and friendship and life, its just ups and downs.”

Pacheco said she wanted to touch on the taboo things that people don’t talk about and explore the hard parts of humanity.

“I want to let people know that normal is not really a thing. It’s an idea, so I want to kind of explore that,” she said. “I’m very open and woefully unabashed about how I feel, like my personal struggle and my mental health, I talk about all of the time.”

Pacheco said one of her favorite questions she has ever asked her doctor about mental health is what is normal. He told her to define that for herself.

“There is stuff that nobody talks about but everybody feels,” she said. “I started on the book around 2020 and 2021, and I would work on it for a while, then step away from it.”

Pacheco wrote two poems in her book that are dedicated to her boyfriend, “Die Hard” and “The Guy from Tron.”

“They are about him being a cinephile because he’s so huge on movies and that’s just one of his things, she said. “It’s about watching him get swept up in it and like loving to see that on somebody else.”

She said another poem in her book holds a special place in her heart is “It’s a Girl” about all of the momisms mothers tell their kids and all of the things women learn about being a woman and how scary it is.

“This book isn’t meant to be original or revolutionary by any means, but it’s meant to be a book that lets people feel validated on their own feelings,” Pacheco said. “I don’t want to give a preview or tell you what you should feel about it because I want people to take what they need to take from it.”

Gregory Pacheco, Hillary’s dad, died in December 2011. About a year before that, her dad wrote a book.

“The book was about his life and how he felt throughout different times in his life,” Pacheco said. “He tells stories about me and my siblings growing up, and it was almost like a gift.”

Pacheco enjoys reading, and her favorite genres right now are fiction, poetry and horror.

“My advice on writing would be anyone who wants to be published definitely don’t be afraid to self-publish,” Pacheco said. “Also, like I tell my mom, there’s never a perfect time in life, so stop waiting and just do it.”

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