Queen’s student publishes poetry book

Becoming a published author as a youngster can seem impossible. Queen’s student Bella Crysler rewrites the narrative with her new book of poetry, Bubblegum and black coffee.

Crysler, ArtSci ’23, is a dedicated and consistent poet. She spoke with The newspaper about her writing and why she chose to self-publish.

“[Bubblegum and Black Coffee] is a collection of poetry that I’ve written over the past five years – it all comes from this notebook that I had,” Crysler explained.

The book features over 70 poems written during this time, spanning Crysler’s high school days through the first three years of his undergraduate studies. Although she overshot some of it, she thinks the inclusion of her older writing was key to creating contrast.

“I think a lot of it’s funny because there’s a lot of melodrama about things that don’t seem like anything in retrospect anymore,” she said. “Even though it’s embarrassing, it puts things into perspective so you can compare your experiences. [to the present to] remember what you learned.

Crysler thinks the omission of some of his older poems would have been inauthentic.

“I wrote these poems at an age when I wanted these things said – to exclude them would be a disservice to anyone younger who reads my book and feels these things.”

Crysler sees poetry as a particularly healthy and productive outlet because it offers a level of artistic freedom often unavailable in prose.

“Poetry is a stress-free genre for me because you’re not limited by form in any way. If you’re thinking in a fragmented way, or you don’t have a clear picture, but you have things to conceptualize through words, poetry allows it.

Crysler decided to self-publish Bubblegum and black coffee after careful consideration and consultation with experts in his life.

“Being an author is something I’ve wanted to do with every fiber of my being since I was old enough to read. It always seemed like this unreachable thing where someone has to find you, call you, and choose you to be an author,” she said.

“I ended up finding this company [offering] a free call with an editing agent who could explain the process. They explained to me that most people post themselves first to build up a network and fan base to prove that they are a profitable and newsworthy person. Once you have that, you can go to bigger publishing houses and show them your repertoire.

Self-publishing her book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has given Crysler print-on-demand flexibility as she puts her work in the hands of readers.

“I thought it would be better for the environment and [the] the safest [option] for me because I wouldn’t have to order a hundred books [and then] having them in my basement stressing me out.

Crysler described the whole process as relatively seamless, and she was impressed with the quality of the book when she received it.

Now his focus has shifted to building an audience.

“I started an Instagram account for my book because that’s how I’m most connected to the world of writers,” she said. “I hope I will also create a Facebook account.”

During the advertisement Bubblegum and black coffee is his top priority, don’t expect Crysler to stop writing anytime soon – other work is already underway.

“I don’t know what happened, but 2022 is my year to write.”

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