Join the journey of self-exploration through a time of struggle and renewal. Moy captivates you with her raw and exposing poems. You will be forced to question what you thought you understood about yourself and the world. These poems challenge the reader to grow beyond what is now known as reality. A poetic escape into the mind and heart that journeys through tragedy and revelation.
Good morning, Melissa! I’m thrilled to be talking to you today. “The Spaces Between Breaths” is quite the captivating title. But that’s only one piece of this poetic puzzle. What was your inspiration for this book in its entirety?
I underwent some struggles with the loss of some important relationships in my life. Betrayal seemed to be a running theme. My son also got diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, Eosinophilic Esophagitis. A trauma my son had hidden for a couple of years came to light, breaking my heart and shattering our world. It was the journey through these things, the recovery, and most importantly, the reflection.
Dark times have a way of shaping us as both writers and as people. When did the initial spark of creativity enter your life?
I’ve written poetry since I can remember holding a pencil. Sometimes I think I lived it in the ways I lived and the relationships I shared.
That’s such a beautiful way of putting it! What are a few of the central messages you’re striving to portray in this poetry collection?
Self-exploration, staying true to yourself, finding our own peace in life, growing constantly as a person.
I lived [poetry] in […] the relationships I shared.
These are all very profound themes. What poets have influenced along your writing journey?
e.e. Cummings and Emily Dickinson.
Excellent choices! What’s your approach to writing?
Sometimes phrases or words just come to me at random points. They collect on my phone in the notes app, voice memos, etc. Sometimes I’ll even catch myself reciting poetry while cooking dinner or taking a shower. The words just come and whether they’re captured or not depends on fate. Sometimes my feelings are just so strong, they must materialize into words and I have no choice but to obey. A few even came from writing experiences I would provide my students and the jealous writer in me would have to join in on the writing fun.
I love it! Are there any final thoughts you’d like to leave the community with?
People often look at me and ask how I do it, how I manage everything. I often tell them, I just do, I just have to. Writing, though, it has been the boat for my journey and allowed me to embrace the pain and enable the growth.
Two years ago a new teacher started teaching next door to me and she quickly became my best friend, Abeer Afana. I don’t think I could have evolved into the confident person or writer that I am today if it hadn’t been for her constant support and encouragement.
Over the last couple of years I have neglected myself in so many ways. I needed to take a leap and try to chase my dreams. As a teacher, it is my job to lead my students by example. That is why I finally deiced to put my writing out there, in this chapbook. By the end of March I should also have a children’s book published. It is currently being illustrated.
Thank you for the empowering concluding words. You’re such an inspiration, Melissa! 💙
Writing has always been a passion for Melissa Moy, something that she will never be able to give up or turn her back on…it is…who she is. From the very start of her educational experiences, Moy gravitated toward written expression. When asked when or how she first learned to write she simply replied, “There was never a ‘how’, only a ‘had to.’ I just had to write, and so I did.” Moy’s writing dips into a plethora of forms and topics, but poetry has always been most near and dear to her heart. “Writing is the wind that blows the sails of emotion and thought, so that we may better travel the seas of our lives.