I, Alyssa Palazzo, am a poet who began writing my first novel at the young age of 18. My novel "dear body" is a beautiful piece of work that addresses my battles with mental illness, trauma, and an eating disorder. I grew up in Littleton, Colorado and for twelfth grade, I moved to Pennsylvania to pursue a pre-professional career in ballet. The turmoil I faced while far from home paved way for my activism surrounding body positivity and mental illness. I am currently a student at The University of Colorado Boulder pursuing a degree in journalism to continue my pursuit to help other women battling eating disorders and/or depression. My career as a poetry novelist and a self-love activist is just beginning. I hope to inspire body positivity in as many women as possible and hopes that my willingness to share my experience may pave way for a decreased stigma surrounding mental illness.
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About The Book
"dear body" is an emotionally raw, vulnerable collection of poetry that illustrates a young woman’s painful trauma, which cultivated an environment for bulimia. This anthology allows her to powerfully articulate the suffocating effects of mental illness. The conclusion inspires body positivity and dialogue on recovery. The novel curtails the taboo surrounding depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress. "dear body" gives voice to those silently suffering and hope to those who are recovering.
I began writing a few poems as an act of self-care. The burden of my trauma and eating disorder felt less heavy to bear if it was out of my head and onto the page. This therapeutic action blossomed into this powerful novel. Through "dear body" you can join me on my path to recovery and re-discovery of self-love and joy.
The Writing Process
This writing journey began on a yellow legal pad filled with a smattering of poems. I scribbled and scratched out and re-wrote many stanzas. I wrote down my fleeting emotions and composed them into a chaotic and non-sensical anthology. Next, I typed all of the poems and proceeded to print them all out. I arranged them into many sections then rearranged them repeatedly. This eventually spat out the three sections of the Novel "The Hurt", "Its Wake", and "The Restoration". The process of finding these names as well as the Title took the longest. I played with "The Departure" to reference my childhood leaving too quickly. Then, I toyed with "Like an Ocean Wave". This title inspired the beautiful wave painting featured above. My talented Aunt, Christy Palazzo, painted it for me as a potential cover. Though I opted for a different title and cover this painting is a beautiful reminder of my writing journey.
With endless editing, my novel is in the final stages of completion and publication. "dear body" has been a work in progress for two years. I look fondly towards May 2nd, 2020 where all my work will culminate in a celebration of self-love.