My, My, My, My, My – Tara Hardy

In a climate that seeks to stifle if not outright silence disabled voices, Hardy has written a manual for anyone who has ever wondered what it is like to walk through what they call ‘the door of privilege’– what it is like to be a perfectly functioning person one day and have all of that snatched from you by unknown disease.

Humanly – Stevie Edwards

Edwards tackles the complexities of life as a female living with mental illness living in a world that denies it has mental illnesses. Raw and tender at the same time, it is a necessary read for those looking to find a soulmate in their bottoming out or start over.

The New Clean – Jon Sands

Sands was the first poet to move me enough to talk to them. The poems in this book are a loosely related set of conversations that one could find themselves engaged in at any time– heartbreak, rage, loss, love, nothing is off the table.

It Starts From The Belly and Blooms – Thomas Fucaloro

I read my little sister poems from this book while I held her hand, waiting for doctors to give her psych clearance to go home. There is something about Fucaloro’s poetry that manages to cut to the heart of mental illness without making it a scary or brooding thing. This is one of my favorite books.

The Dead and the Living – Sharon Olds

If my poetry had an unknown genesis, it would be here. Poems like ‘Late Speech with my Brother’ and ‘The Victims’ gave me the full permission I was looking for to find beauty in the truth of my trauma. To tell my story as I needed to.

SaraEve Fermin (she/her) is a performance poet, editor and epilepsy/ mental health advocate from northeast New Jersey. A 2015 Best of the Net nominee, she has performed for both local and national events, including the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles 2015 Care and Cure Benefit to End Epilepsy in Children and as a reader for Great Weather for MEDIA at the 2016 NYC Poetry Festival. She is the author of You Must Be This Tall to Ride (Swimming With Elephants Publishing) and View from the Top of the Ferris Wheel (Clare Songbirds Publishing) and Trauma Carnival (Swimming with Elephants Publishing, 2019). Follow her on IG, she follows back: @SaraEve41

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