The Steps of Grief

Author Interview
Eli Author Interview

Like Fire and Ice sends readers on a poignant poetic journey that delves into overcoming trauma, healing from trauma and loving who you are. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I started drafting these poems when I was a freshman in high school all the way up until I decided to publish the collection at the end of my graduation. They started as a way to deal with everything that had been going on in my life as well as tell my story—though I am an unreliable narrator. Throughout high school, I was constantly in therapy, and my therapist suggested I start a journal, which is what Like Fire and Ice consists of.

I really enjoyed your ‘The Anthem of Gen Z’ poem. Do you have a poem that stands out to you in this collection?

The very last poem, “Ash,” is important to me because it touches on a few important themes. The first theme is the steps of grief explored in this collection. Every section is designed to walk through the chapters I traveled to overcome abuse and trauma throughout my life. More importantly, the last theme that this poem touches on is the idea that we are not our past. To quote, the poem says, “In years that followed before this day/ I realize that I should have been cliché/ I was doomed to be another statistic/ and destined for nothing more than the 5-mile radius/that I was born into” (Like Fire and Ice). So many times, we believe that we are a coalescence of our background; however, I encourage the reader to understand that we are, in fact, a coalescence of how we decided to act based on our past.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

There were many ideas that I wanted to explore in this book, but to narrow it down to a few, I think there were three important things to take away from this collection. The first idea is to define and understand that abuse comes in many forms and can be inflicted by anyone. The main reason I stay anonymous is I am still serving in the Army National Guard. I touched on the abuse I was subject to as a seventeen-year-old kid in this book by someone who most would classify as a commendable, higher-ranked soldier. Sexual abuse is everywhere—in our military, in our homes, and in our schools.

The second idea I wanted to explore is mental health and trying to be as raw as possible about it. I believe that many depictions of mental health in the media are not necessarily false but not entirely true. Mental health is vastly complicated, but unlike what the media may have you believe, it is completely manageable.

The last idea I wanted to explore is accountability and self-reflection. Many abuse victims create a self-fulfilling prophecy using a victim mentality. The way to combat that is to realize that some shitty things in your life are not because of your abuse, your childhood, or the shortcomings life has thrown at you. Some shitty things in your life are your own doing, and we as survivors, not victims, must become better than our abusers.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your poetry?

I hope the reader can get closure. I did not publish this collection to make profit—though I would be a liar in saying that extra cash isn’t nice. I published this in the hopes that someone would read it and finally feel heard. I want survivors of abuse and mental illness to feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This collection is not easy to read, and there are many triggering poems. Though I think some will find it healing to finally stare the ghosts of their past in the face, fight the darkest parts of themselves, and finally realize that healing is not forgetting. Healing is realizing that our past is simply a small piece of our timeline.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

In their first poetry collection, Eli shows us a raw and, at times, unpleasant look into the life of the working-class American women.

These poems dive into the issues of depression, abuse, rape, and growing up in the broken American economy. Split into three parts: Fire, Ice, and Ash, this collection tells a different aspect of the author’s life and delves into overcoming trauma, healing from trauma, and loving who you are.

In Like Fire and Ice by Eli, we experience a journey of overcoming poverty, rape, and abuse through fire, ice, and ash.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 13, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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