Castles: My Debut Poetry Book

Cover by Suhaila Baheyeldin. Photo by Elizabeth Alamillo.

Cover by Suhaila Baheyeldin. Photo by Elizabeth Alamillo.

Available now, Castles is my debut collection of short poetry and prose, and it chronicles the intricacies of a daydreamer's mind: the heartstrings of a teenager, then a woman, grappling with what it means to be broken in love and rise up again by inner strength and salvation. Separated into three sections: Dungeon, Tower, and Throne Room, it takes you on a moving journey of self-discovery amidst the pitfalls of youth and first love. Dedicated to the willful and tenderhearted, its pages honor any individual who has ever been told they are "too much." 

Between us, if someone told me a decade ago that one day I'd publish a book filled with over a hundred pages of my secret poetry, I'd have been horrified. To a certain degree, I still am; poetry demands a level of vulnerability I’ve never before experienced in my other writing. Since I was old enough to hold a pen, poetry has been something quietly sacred to me, a part of my writing I don't share with the world. My little rhymes have been tucked away in school planners, textbooks, loose leaf assignments, and various journals for years. It's been a way for me to translate the inner workings of my heart onto paper, to understand who I am, what I'm going through, and what I believe in. In a way, these poems were my coded diary entries, for me alone.

       In the past year, I began to look back through some of the verses I'd written from my time in college and noticed a story being told through the poems altogether: a story about a girl who always felt a bit "too much" for everyone else's liking. A story about first love and heartbreak. A story about friendships lost and gained, about resurrection from a life of superficial happiness to one of true meaning and joy. It felt like something worth sharing, for anyone who may relate to the lessons I've learned in my life. I’d never presume others would find it interesting to read my various thoughts and dreams in rhyme, and I didn’t model the manuscript off of any particular work, nor to fit into any particular genre. It’s all a bit random, but whose heart isn’t.

       Because you, as a reader, supporter, or friend, inspire me to do and be better in my work every day simply by visiting this site, I've shared an excerpt from the book's introduction below: 

       "Like many writers, I turned to poetry at challenging moments to say what I couldn't out loud to the people who wouldn’t hear me even if I could. The act of transmuting life’s hardships, big or small, into something beautiful—a line or two that evokes otherworldliness where there was once only sadness, anger, or fear—made dealing with my struggles easier for me. It made them survivable.

       ...These are the stories written on my soul for those who have touched it, and what an immense joy it is to finally pluck them out of my mind and place them in this book for others to interpret how they may. To use how they need to. I know I’m not alone."

       Pick up your paperback or digital copy of Castles from Amazon by clicking the button below! After reading, I’d be so grateful if you'd rate the book and write your review, as well as share with others on social media. I sincerely hope you enjoy the journey of reading it. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or in a personal letter. Happy reading!