This has been a long process for the folks at Querencia Press and I am so honored and humbled to share that one of my poems, "premenstrual dysphoric disorder," is a part of this anthology! Coming July 7th with 25% of proceeds going to Days for Girls.
Order your copy at
Barnes and Noble
Sadly, I didn't send to as many people as I would have liked this time around....or read as many books as I could have wanted. I can tell you that next year, I am hopeful and am planning on sending out my works to as many people as I can and hope for the best, as always. I can also tell you that one of my poems was in contention for being 'best in the net.' My poem, "I sometimes think my identity in diaspora," was noticed and nominated by the lovelies at The Wild Word magazine.
Just when I think perhaps I should hang up my writing "thing," the Universe gives me a little glimmer of hope and possibility; a carrot to continue to dangle in front of me. And one day, I hope, whatever the Universe has in store for me and my writing will be worth the wait.
In the meantime, here is the sad sad list of my 2022 submissions, acceptances and rejections. Hoping 2023 is better!
1. Submitted 'pmdd & me chapbook' to Fahmidan Journal
https://www.fahmidan.net/ on 1/1 (rejected)
2. Submitted the poems 'premature birth' and 'in between' to Indigo Literary Journal
https://www.indigoliteraryjournal.com/ on 1/8 (rejected)
3.) Submitted the poem, 'you'll never see me smile again,' to Orotone www.orotone.org/ on 1/8 (rejected)
4.) Submitted the poem, 'you'll never see me smile again,' to
New Delta Review on http://ndrmag.org/ 1/17 (rejected)
5.) Submitted the poem, 'mother, may I?' to Anvil Tongue books https://anviltonguebooks.blogspot.com/ on 1/22 (accepted)
6.) Submitted the poem, 'heritage,' to Ayaskala https://ayaskala.com/ on 1/22 (rejected)
7.) Submitted the poem, thewildword.com/"identity in diaspora" to The Wild Word https://thewildword.com/ on 3/15 (accepted and NOMINATED).
8.) Submitted the poems, 'I remember when' and 'you'll never see me smile," to The Sacred Feminine anthology https://facetspoetry.wixsite.com/thesacredfeminine on 3/15 (accepted).
9.) Submitted "love, lumpia & words," to Atmosphere press https://atmospherepress.com/ on 3/30 (accepted but declined due to finding out it was a vanity press).
10.) Submitted the poems, "and the women cried," "untitled," and "the friends i want to keep," to Muzzle Magazine https://www.muzzlemagazine.com on 6/28 (awaiting).
11.) Submitted 2 poems "and the women cried," and "the friends we keep," to Poetry Marathon Anthology on 7/10 (1/2). - And the women cried accepted.
The Inheritance of Grief is a free-verse poetry collection about an introspective journey of losing a parent, the courage of coping, and the path towards healing from the multitude of sorrow that unfolds after a loss.
Speaking to themes of cancer, anger, depression, anxiety, loss, identity, and self-love, Nishi Patel’s poems bring intense emotions out in the open to break down the stigma of grief. This book is for anyone to empower self-compassion, clarity, and connection with oneself and our community.
"I came out from the other side through
a light that could not have been found
had it not been so fearfully dark inside"
Amazon book link:
~ Review ~
In so many ways, I do not know grief. While there are aspects of grief that I understand; I get the anger. I get the denial. The slow acceptance and realization of memories in "the after" that will undeniably spotlight the absence, the what-ifs and if only.
This whole collection was beautiful. Some aspects of grief I cannot give words to as I just don't have the understanding of it.
This collection opens with grieving. I was met with the rawness of what the poet felt in the moments after. The grief that certain people are privy to, Patel wrote them in melodic terms. The rest of the world, I imagine, saw her strength. Saw her holding back.
I saw anger. I saw acceptance. Pain. I had to read this in spurts. Some poems I had to digest to truly understand the waves of emotions of a grief I knew not of. Some were painful I had to take a step back as I'm not quite sure I was ready to understand. I am in a phase of my life where I am questioning my own mortality and my parents. How much more time are we given? What would I do with our time?
But this isn't about me or my parents. This is about a Patel's struggle with seeing her love one slowly succumbing to his sickness. This is her grappling with the "before" and understanding the absences of "the after."
This is her healing. This is her processing her wounds and turning them into poetry.
And it is not linear, or pretty but this was what she was given.
Beautiful testament of a daughter's love, her questioning, her love, and inheritance of memories.
About the Author
Nishi Patel is a South Asian American self-made artist. Using her emotions to fuel her semi-abstract impressionist paintings, Nishi manifests her poetry with the same raw intensity. Her debut book, The Inheritance of Grief, is inspired by her six years of journal writing after her father passed away from cancer. With more books coming in the future, she writes about mental health, life, and spirituality.
Stay connected with Nishi through Instagram @by.nishi.patel
Salt Chorus leads readers on an evocative journey ranging from deep in a garden to out in the cosmos. In her poetry debut, Dominique Rossi weaves haunting imagery to honor connections between humans and wilderness. Rossi explores themes including trauma, identity, and resilience with grace and reverence.
Amazon book link:
~ Review ~
This was a stunning debut collection. Powerful, haunting, and beautifully written. There were pieces that were delicate in nature and wrapped in wonder, and while others seemed to be read in demand. Can a poem ask its reader for such a thing? To reread the piece over, more fiercely?
If a chapbook could demand such a thing, then I cannot wait to read more of this poet's work. Well done!
About the Author
Dominique Rossi is an attorney and political advisor. She has previously worked as a journalist and a domestic violence survivor advocate. Her articles have appeared in magazines including Bitch, Adbusters, and Northwest Travel. Rossi’s hobbies include international travel, reading and embroidery. Originally from Chicago, she now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her partner, dogs, and chickens.
When your to do list keeps having one more thing gradually added to it, and yet you still somehow manage to squeeze it all in. You just do more, sleep less and you wring yourself dry, until there's not a drop of liquid left in you.
EMERGING FROM THE CHRYSALIS EXPLORES THE THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS AND PARALYSIS OF MENTAL HEALTH AND HOW THE SAVING GRACE OF SELF-EXPRESSION AND ITS RELEASE VIA POETRY, SLOWLY ENABLES HEALING. ALTHOUGH RARELY OPENLY DISCUSSED, MOST OF US HAVE HAD MOMENTS IN OUR LIFE THAT FEEL TOO MUCH AND YOU WANT TO DIVORCE YOURSELF FROM YOUR OWN LIFE. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING BURN OUT OR MENTAL ILLNESS OR YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS, THIS IS THE BOOK THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU MUST READ!
Amazon book link:
~ Review ~
It is always interesting (to me, at least) how people process anxiety and depression. The finding out of these conditions, rather. Some deny - this was me, so I'm not judging. Some hide beneath storm clouds just waiting for the storms to pass. Others run right into the storm, demanding, bargaining, all while being tethered to a lighting pole.
And then there are your poets.
The ones who step just a hair to the side, carefully analyzing the bits and pieces of silver linings to be found and gather them up into poetry. Crafting their storms into words.
While the title suggests emerging from the cocoon (and there is that), there were storm metaphors and imagery in the beginning that I couldn't stop letting go of. Or perhaps, as it is hurricane season here in the South, I liken it to seeing the toss and turn of anxiety off in the distance of the gulf and watching the clouds of depression darken bit by bit.
Manuel's first few pieces was melodic in the way a storm brews. Tentative, unsure, beautiful. And as the formation - or the core of the book - began to take shape, I could (again, in my mind's eye) envision the hurricane coming towards me. Neurotic, breathless and growing stronger.
This collection cannot be read in one sitting. I read a few poems here and there to gather my thoughts, to analyze, and to take a step back. There is darkness here that is not often talked about; suicide ideation was written almost so whimsical, I had to pause for self care. To read her words and understand those moments, know those thoughts......I recommend going slow and taking pauses. This collection is not to be rushed. Transformations (and hurricanes) take a while, after all.
I do love her later chapter of catharsis. This section was uplifting and gave me hope that the poet found solace and peace in her healing journey. And I applaud the poet for her honesty and her bravery in sharing.
About the Author
Francine Manuel is a Canadian poet and writer. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and numerous certifications in alternative therapeutic modalities. In Francine’s debut book of poetry, “Emerging from the Chrysalis”, you are able to get a glimpse into the subtle yet devastating nature of burnout, anxiety and depression. Each poem captivates and draws in the reader, allowing them to have a unique insight into the realities of mental illness. Francine is a renown avocado-aholic and firmly insists that it can be eaten at any meal of the day. Her innate curiosity and joie de vivre lend a fresh and innovative perspective about transformation, healing and living fully.
Francine welcomes her readers to connect with her on Instagram (@francine_manuel_author), TikTok (@francine_manuel) and/or Facebook (Francine Manuel_Author)
2 of my poems: "I remember when," and "you'll never see me smile," in this wonderful collection!
I remember when
"I remember 31 weeks, 4 days gestation.
I remember when my body was a home and I was a safe place to be.
I remember 3 pounds, 4 ounces.
I remember holding back a scream and keeping my face neutral.
I remember Spring; how the flowers started to grow outside my window sill, but I only noticed the weeds and thorns.
I remember days were for cooing and updates, and nights were for bargaining to a god I wasn’t sure I believed in anymore.
I remember how my heart beat would match hers; the machines echoing our smiles and soft touches.
I remember Easter spent huddled in the hallway, holding my breath.
I remember when my body was a home and I was a safe place to be until home was no longer safe for her."
You'll never see me smile
"I take her name into mine. I forge her secret
into my hands and weep for all the burdens
women must carry, without complaint,
always with a smile."
The definition of a poetess is, simply put, a female poet. But I promise you, we are so much more! With every drop of our ink, we channel Calliope, Melpomene, and Erato, the very muses that so inspire us. To be part of the Sacred Feminine is to celebrate the goddess within all women.
The Sacred Feminine Volume II: An Open Skies Collection is a unique collection of poetry that celebrates women authors everywhere. Inside these pages, you’ll find an unprecedented convergence of unparalleled writings from female authors around the world. Each and every poetess displaying her own transcendently beautiful and one-of-a-kind style.
My poem, "identity in diaspora" was accepted in the Wild Word magazine for their Motherland issue.
I sometimes think of my identity in diaspora
as a mother whose babies were ripped
from the womb, weeks too early to function
on their own. I think about my first language trying
to find comfort in my tongue but the words
seem lost and misplaced. Maybe I too was
plucked too early. And instead of these coming of age
stories, i write about the searching of identities
and feeling like a stranger in a home with
Read here for more: https://thewildword.com/poetry-leila-tualla/
This is a collection I wrote during cycles of happiness, gratitude, rage, anxiety, and depression. This is meant to spread awareness as each high and low points yielded an observation and a note. There is sunshine and darkness.
There is PMDD and then there is me.
Release date: April 26
Manifesting that I will have a book published by one of "the big 5." It will honor my voice as a mom, an advocate and it will serve to educate, to spread awareness and all about pinoy pride and power. One day.
Until that day comes...I am here I am crafting, writing, and creating my space out here.
For any one curious about the self publishing process.
First, there's the "the end" and then a celebration that you freakin' finished a book!! Go YOU!!
Second, you can do a few things: query and send it out to agents or submit to any and all chapbook contests/submission calls, etc. Be forewarned. I had a list of small presses that are my "dream" journals. They publish maybe 2 - 3 chapbooks a year and their submission fees can vary between $15 - $25. This can all add up. The "cheapest" contest I entered, my fee was waived because I am a POC (person of color). If you are in the marginalized community and cannot afford the reading fees (a fee to have your manuscript read), make sure you look for contests that are able to wave fees. I used this one time and donated that fee to another press. Other presses don't ask for reading fees either, they simply ask you to donate or buy from their catalog.
Moving one, I gave myself a year before turning to self publishing.
There are pros and cons of self publishing. I'm not going to create a list for you here (not right now). ONE of the benefits, for me at least, is that I can control every aspect of where this book baby will go. At the end of every "the end," I want you (the audience) to be aware. I am all about advocacy - for mamas and babies. Maternal mental health, PMDD/PME, preeclampsia; these are passions of mine and I want to make sure that the person who is reading my story can go, "wow, it's not just me." I don't ever want someone to feel like they're alone in their darkest thoughts and isolating hour.
Once you've settled on this path, you need people to help you. I chose a different editor for this one. I have had 2 other poetry editors in the past. Both have been amazing and I have learned so much from either one of them. I would choose either one of them again, in a heartbeat.
I picked this particular one mostly because she is familiar with and have written about chronic illness and anxiety.
PMDD is not a pretty topic. It is heavy. It is messy. It is a different kind of hard.
And while I'm waiting for the final edits and run through. I am staring at these two I've created below. I use Canva - free and easy to use.
Option 1: to me, sums up what this collection is about. Pieces of me are still in the shadows. Bold font. Simplicity. This isn't a happy topic.
Option 2: is the hope I want you (the reader) to feel after all the heavy. In the darkness, are lights that can scream or whisper safe passage. You are not alone in this journey.
So I'd love to ask the Universe - or whoever you are - a vote on your favorite.
This is a collection I wrote during cycles of happiness, gratitude, rage, anxiety, and depression.This is meant to spread awareness as each high and low points yielded an observation and a note. There is sunshine and darkness. There is PMDD and then there is me.
Just added to Goodreads:
1.) Submitted a poem called, "the voice," to Please See Me (rejected)
2.) Submitted pmdd & me chapbook to Porkbelly Press (rejected)
3.) Submitted pmdd & me chapbook to Perhappened Press (rejected)
4.) Submitted a poem called, "the cry of the struggle," to Dropout Publishing (rejected)
5.) Submitted a poem called, "the cry of the struggle," to Second Chance Lit (rejected)
6.) Submitted a poem, "my anxious self,"(accepted) & prose, "dear anxious believer,"(Accepted) to Pearshaped Press(ANTHOLOGY)
7.) Submitted pmdd & me chapbook to Selcouth Station (rejected).
8.) Submitted pmdd & me chapbook to the Poetry Question chapbook contest (rejected)
9.) Submitted 2 poems, "cry of the struggle," and "this is how I'm surviving," to Revue Post (rejected)
10.) Submitted a poem called, "me too," to Brave Voices Magazine (rejected)
11.) Submitted a poem called, "the jungle that birthed me," to Rigorous (accepted)
12.) Submitted 3 poems, "thou shalt remain nameless," "growing up girl," and "the state of things" to Antiherioine chic (rejected)
13.) Submitted 3 poems, shower, cry, repeat," "lessons in motherhood," and "the things we carry" to Fahmidan Journal (rejected)
14.) Submitted a poem called, "this is how I'm surviving," to Marías at Sampaguitas APRIL Contest (WON 3rd place)!
15.) Submitted a poem called, "lessons in motherhood," to Literary Mama on 5/6/21 (rejected).
16.) Submitted a personal essay called, "raising babies in the hyphen," to The Nasiona for their True Stories en Vivo call on 5/12 (awaiting).
17.) Submitted a poem called, "early start," to querencia magazine on 5/12 (Accepted for July 2nd issue).
18.) Submitted a poem called, "here's what I know," to The Lannang Archives on 5/27 (Accepted for current issue).
19.) Submitted 2 poems, fog and mother, may I to Celestal Review on 6/13 (awaiting).
20.) Submitted pmdd & me chapbook to SHANTI ARTS PUBLISHING on 6/13 (awaiting).
21. Submitted 'its pronounced lie-lah' chapbook to Sledgehammer Lit on 7/2 (rejected).
22. Submitted poem, 'this too shall pass,' to Poetry Marathon Anthology on 7/7 (Accepted for Anthology)
23. Submitted 'explaining anxiety to a 9 year old' to FEEEL Magazine on 7/30 (Accepted)
24. Submitted "one day," to Agape Review on 8/31 (Accepted).
25. Submitted "I remember" to Cardigan Press Anthology on 10/12 (neither an acceptance or rejection. The press decided not to move ahead with their Anthology).
26. Submitted "me too" to Eclipse Lit on 10/30 (awaiting).
27. Submitted "I remember" to Feral Poetry on 10/30 (rejected).
28. Submitted excerpt of "love, lumpia and words," to First Matter Press on 10/30 (rejected).
29. Submitted manuscript, love, lumpia & words," to Perugia Press Prize on 11/13 (rejected).
30. Submitted manuscript, "love, lumpia & words," to Finishing Line Press on 11/28 (rejected).
I use Goodread's rating scale
1 star – didn’t like it
2 stars – it was OK
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was so amazing, it's on my reread pile!
Hi there! Here's a quick bio