You came, conquered,
stole my heart and
left me with a Moleskin full of
pensive poems documenting unrequited love
exposed on cream, lined pages.
By Emmanuella Hristova
I never intended to be a poet. And I never set out to write a poetry book either. What happened instead, was a series of tragic events that forced me to turn inward—into a diary. What began as feminist musings into a green Moleskin notebook after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, turned into page after page about an unfolding romance. For, I was falling in love for the first time.
However, in the turbulent and unsettling times of our twenties and fresh out of college, this love didn’t last, when he dumped me on the prospect of taking a job in another state. Two weeks later, I found out my sister was dying. Her cancer had progressed to stage four, which had metastasized to her liver and the rest of her body. I was crushed; utterly devasted at this relationship that had slipped out of my fingers and that I would lose my sister.
So in between day-to-day activities when I felt like life was suffocating me, I wrote in my notebook, and when the emotions felt like they would overtake me, I wrote some more. When she passed away less than three months later, I wrote even more. And nine months later, I had a whole notebook chalk-full of poems documenting the darkest, most painful experiences of my life. But, because these emotions were so raw and painful for me at the time, I tucked the notebook away and didn’t look at it for two years. But when I finally did, I realized I had written a book. I shared some poems with a best friend—and she told me to publish. I collaborated with my dear coworker and editor, Maria Ciccone, who helped me curate the order of the chapters and the poems and who really helped me define my voice.
The final chapter called The Aftermath is about dealing with sexism and misogyny, but it also thanks women for all of their unappreciated accomplishments. “The final chapter looks toward your future, your current voice—which is bold, courageous, and empowering women,” Maria reminded me. I wanted to share my work with other women, so they too could heal through poetry the way I did. But ultimately it was through these tragedies that my creativity flowed out, that I dealt with my pain, and through which I became a poet.
You can pick up The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder via eBook for $3.99 here:
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Emmanuella Hristova was born in Oakland, California and grew up in the Bay Area. She is the third daughter to Bulgarian parents who immigrated to California shortly before she was born. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. She began writing poetry at age twenty-four when she was in graduate school. She earned her Master’s in Education from the same alma mater in 2017. Emmanuella spent two years as an English teacher in Richmond, California. During that time, she self-published her first poetry collection: The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder. Currently, she is writing her first novel. You can find her on Instagram: @emmy_speaks and her website www.ehristova.com