Local poet's journey takes her from victim to survivor

But this book, the seventh and final installment in a series that follows her journey from victim to survivor, focuses on her resilience and fortitude. She’s a survivor and she’s only looking forward.


“This book has a deep sense of having finished a life journey,” she said. “Each book defines a new stage of coming to terms with how life can evolve and how easily one thinks they are defined, almost to a fault, with occurrences that are often out of our control.”


The St. Petersburg author will celebrate the release of the book on Friday, March 29 with a reading and signing at the L Train bar, 900 Central Ave.


The event will also feature cellist Jamayal Douglas, poet/singer Guianna and singer Stacy Rush. And R. MonaLeza will share a new poem from her next poetry project, Other Side.


Her upcoming poetry projects will tackle new themes and ideas. “The next book will be about gender issues and how not only government but also society still maintains a puritanical and archaic view of love and who is worthy of having it and sharing it,” she said.


She also plans to step back a bit from poetry (“though I will continue to write poetry as it’s my therapy,” she said) to tackle several non-fiction and fiction works. She has three books she hopes to have finished by early summer: Cougar Tales, The Perfection of Imperfection and a so far untitled book of short stories.


“I enjoy prose as it allows me to travel inside my mind and retrieve interesting characters, places, and situations that often entertain me,” she said. It also allows her to explore a variety of genres: fantasy, science fiction, horror, even humor.


In addition to seven books of poetry, R. MonaLeza has published a novel as well. She is also an adjunct professor of communications at the University of Tampa.


For more information about R. MonaLeza, visit her website. To learn more about Friday’s book signing, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Have you ever wondered how much skin is on the human body?

It’s about 18 square feet, says poet R. MonaLeza. And the human body is constantly shedding and regrowing this skin; it’s constantly changing.

That’s why the author has named her latest book of self-published poetry, which focuses on her struggle to overcome emotional trauma, changing her thought processes, and her banishment of negative thoughts and ideas, Rejecting 18 Square Feet. The poems focus on themes that she often explores in her work: domestic violence, rape culture and misogynistic behavior in society.

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