Today marks the one month anniversary since the release of my first poetry collection, lullabies for warriors. It’s still so hard to believe that my baby has been out in the world for 30 days, and that more people than ever are able to read this story that has been such a significant part of my life.
I am so grateful to this book, for teaching me so much of what it means to put labour into my story. Doing it justice, giving it respect, giving it love, no matter if some days I don’t like my story at all. But to realize that regardless of how I’m feeling, my story deserves my care.
Personally, it was very hard to celebrate the release of my book. My book came from periods of despair, trauma, and struggle. I did not want to write these poems. Rather, I had to write these poems. In those moments of complete darkness, I had to find a way to cope, to bring myself back to my body. If for nothing else, I found some relief in the thought that maybe my poems would survive even if I could not.
What came from writing these poems was a journey towards a very intimate connection with people in my city, sometimes friends and family, other times complete strangers. I started performing my poetry in order to feel some kind of “alive”, and some kind of intimacy. Depression has a way of isolating you, of convincing you that you are alone, and that no one understands you. These poems became a thread bringing me back to a world that felt less lonely.
Much of this connection was spiritual, there’s no other word to describe it. I could feel when my words were reaching an audience, even if I did not know who they were. Many people came to me after my performances, or sent me private messages, telling me that my poems touched them or gave words to their feelings. To be honest, I did not expect so many people to understand what I was saying, some poems I myself still don’t entirely understand! But these experiences force me to believe that poetry is merely a vessel, it brings people to an emotion. It’s the emotion that we share. An experience surpassing words. Beyond the intellectual.
It would be nice to say that I released this book for me. But honestly, I feel even more pride and joy by saying that I released this book for all the people who gave me so much consistent support and encouragement over the years.
The narrator of my book goes through so much struggle, and she goes through it alone. And yet, this book symbolizes connection, breaking away from isolation, and the power of collective healing. That this story continues to reach new audiences brings me so much solace, so much validation.
So thank you, thank you to everyone who continue to take part in this journey of emotions. Thank you to everyone who came to my book launch, who have bought my book, and who have, in some shape or form, allowed this story to reach their soul.
lullabies for warriors is out now, purchase your copy in person at Librairie Racines, or online at Chapters Indigo, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!