A book review and interview with the Author
Hi Guys! It’s been a while, but I’m back and ready to hold hands with you and be vulnerable 😀 This post will be a feature of a book I’ve read that I think you would appreciate, and a short, exclusive interview with the author herself! Can I hear “Girl Power!” on three please? I was very excited to read this book. Aschel and I are from the same island, Dominica, and we went to high school together (Big up our senior class 4A/5A real quick). While we knew each other, we weren’t close so the experiences penned in this book were all new to me, like they would be new to you. Even so, below you will find my 100% honest review and rating of the book. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
To those who find themselves lost is a book of poems written by Aschel St Ville, who is a poet, activist and pharmacy technician. The book is sectioned into three — The Bending, The Breaking, and The Healing — where you can explore Aschel’s journey of lows and highs; moments of sadness, realization, and coming of strength and womanhood. This book highlights themes such as women empowerment and vulnerability, and grants us a raw, unadulterated perspective of concepts such as depression/anxiety, shame, relationships, dreams, and self-love.
In my excitement to read this book, I don’t think I was fully prepared for how raw and honest these poems were. I found myself at the end of The Bending sobbing. I sobbed for Aschel’s trauma, and I sobbed for my own, along with the other girls I grew up around who possibly shared similar stories that I wouldn’t have known because we’re taught to tuck these things away and never let them see daylight. This segment brought an awareness of the depth of brokenness trauma ensues, especially the one she spoke about. However, it also piqued my interest: I wonder how she navigated through this? And I kept on reading.
The Breaking is where you see Aschel’s pen truly come alive and the journey begins to arch. In this segment she bends the universe so that you and her are walking together through this period in her journey. She poses certain thoughts and questions that allow you to think of your own journey. Moreover, even in her writing of truly deep and low times, you can sense the glimmer of hope as we move along. Through her writing, and the lessening of pages, we are reminded that there is still one more segment to appreciate.
I think I appreciated The Healing segment out of all, not because it was lighter or “happier”, but because we didn’t see an abrupt change from one point of her journey to the next. There is a gradual shift, where there may still be pain, but we have new awareness now. There may still be sadness, but there are also things to celebrate. The Healing is a powerful reminder that life is filled with both sadness and joy, and it is perfectly okay. Throughout this segment, Aschel shares encouragement, her thoughts on self-love and other-centered love, and empowerment.
Something that I did not know would be included, but was so excited for it that I squealed (I really did), were extra blank pages. For those of you who are writers as well, whether it may be poetry like Aschel, essay or prose like me, or even if you just want to doodle, these pages offer you a chance to add your own story, your interpretation of how this book made you feel, or something else completely. Thank you for this unexpected gift Aschel!
For Aschel’s first book, which is self-published, I give it 5 stars. It was wonderfully written and super transparent. I embarked on a voyage into Aschel’s experiences penned and was invited to feel what she possibly felt. Altogether, I finished the book feeling proud of her for her overcoming, proud of myself for my overcoming, and I think after reading, you too would be proud of your growth. ❤
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR AND POET, ASCHEL ST VILLE
SIMPLY DELZ: Describe yourself in four (4) words
ASCHEL: Four words I feel that give a very comprehensive description of who I am are: ambivert, empathetic, eccentric, introspective
SD: What is your writing process?
A: Extensive periods of intense inspiration and writing and also long periods of writer’s block.. I have bursts of inspiration throughout the day and whenever they come I write them down. When writing this book I actually dedicated several hours a day just to write and perfect some of the poems I had written before.
SD: What do you want people to take away from your writing?
A: Definitely, I feel like I want people to understand the value and beauty of vulnerability. My writing is very honest and raw. I want people to see first hand what it is like to put yourself out there unapologetically in all of your flaws.
SD: Who or what inspires you?
A: I am inspired by many female writers particularly Ijeoma Umebinyuo. She is a womanist and such a powerful woman who does not apologize for what she feels and writes. I see her as a woman who stands in her truth and exudes so much confidence. To be confident in who I am as a person has always been my life goal.
SD: Name one thing you can’t live without
A: Poetry for sure.
SD: What advice would you give aspiring poets/writers/creatives?
A: Continue to create. Do not compare your work to anyone else’s. Know that there is space and value in your voice and in your writing. And also I would love to see your work out there some day.
SD: Thanks! Can we expect a new project from you soon? (we hope so!)
A: Yes I am actively working on a new book. However, it won’t be released at least for another year. I am learning a lot from my first book release and still fighting Imposter Syndrome. But I always release new work on my IG page @sabrinajpoetry.
Hi! If you made it to the end, thanks for reading and supporting! Follow our IG pages for more content, and be sure to pick up Aschel St Ville’s book by tapping the link here. Have you read this book or another book of poems? Do you love poetry? Drop your thoughts below, and like & share this post!