HOLIDAY — As a published author who has overcome a few curveballs in life, including accepting her diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, Chelsea DeVries will read some of her poems at Centennial Park Library as part of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
This will be DeVries’ first public reading from her collection of poetry titled “Sticks and Stones,” which encompasses her experience of working in a toxic work environment and covers themes such as mental health, suicide, love, and heartbreak. DeVries will lead the public into a discussion following her readings of her.
The public is invited to attend the book reading and signing from 4 to 5:55 pm Wednesday, May 25, at 5740 Moog Road, Holiday. DeVries will have copies of her book by her for sale at the reading for $25.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity and the platform to reach local people that I might not have reached anywhere else,” DeVries said. “I grew up using the Pasco County library system — I did all the summer reading programs and was a volunteer at the Hudson library when I was in high school. I believe in the benefit libraries give to the community, and the access it gives to readers who can’t afford to buy their own books.”
DeVries has copies of her book at Regency Park Branch Library and Hudson Regional Library. She recently donated a copy to the Centennial Park Library for anyone who may want to check it out.
One of DeVries’ favorite poems inside “Sticks and Stones” is a piece called “Unacknowledged.” She said she credits this poem as the catalyst for making her collection of poems by her. The poem “poured out” of her as she was writing it, and as DeVries was in the editing stage of her work, she found it to be a good personal statement of what she went through and what she learned from her experience of her.
This reading will be a special one for DeVries because of its connection to Mental Health Awareness Month. She said she was inspired to write her collection of ella to help people who struggle with mental health issues know they’re not alone, and to give them hope they can also receive healing for their pain.
Through her own journey of healing, DeVries said she’s overcome the challenges of accepting that she struggles with issues related to anxiety and depression, and that it’s OK to wake up some mornings not feeling excited for the day ahead. She added that it also helps that her new line of work from Ella offers a team who supports her and encourages her.
“Related to my Asperger’s, I feel like I’ve learned to accept all that I am and all that I deal with, and to be more understanding to others who may have struggles we don’t see,” DeVries said.
DeVries is writing more poetry and is also working on a new adult romance-suspense novel. She is hoping to have the new book ready by next year.
To learn more about DeVries and her writing, visit https://chelseadevriesauthor.wordpress.com.