For Immediate Release:
2022 Winner of the PenCraft Book Award: Healing Yesterday’s Tears, Shines Light on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health
Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of American Book Fest, said this year’s contest yielded thousands of entries from authors and publishers around the world. These entries were then narrowed down to the final results by a distinguished panel of industry judges.
During this year’s outstanding competition, the debut poetry collection by Atlanta-based, self-published poet, and mental health advocate Kyli Santiago, unexpectedly took first place among submissions from all around the world, including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and McGraw-Hill, among hundreds of other national and international publishing houses!
Healing Yesterday’s Tears by Kyli Santiago exhibits an intensely introspective style that is rich in creativity. In tandem, her work is blatantly provocative in its honesty and truth, as she skillfully takes readers on a cathartic journey of mental cleansing and transformation. While seamlessly weaving themes of self-love, inner strength, and healing into her deeply personal poems, she tackles painful topics such as depression, suicide, emotional abuse, and other mental health challenges head-on in a no-nonsense manner.
Santiago’s masterful fusion of authenticity and artistry is a refreshing change from today’s often preachy and one-sidedly optimistic style of poetry. It is probably what earned Santiago the prestigious first prize at the highly competitive 2022 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (IBA).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kyli Santiago is an Atlanta-based poet, spoken word artist, entrepreneur, and emotional & mental health advocate. She earned her BA from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Having silently struggled with depression since childhood, she began writing poetry as a form of therapeutic healing and release. By combining poetry, performance, and alternative healing methods, she healed herself without conventional medicine. Her work explores themes such as self-love, overcoming depression, pursuing your dreams, eliminating toxic relationships, and connecting to your higher self. Through the publication of her poetry, she hopes to inspire others to overcome hardships and reach their goals in life.
The aim is to help inspire and uplift people suffering from mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. This is especially important in today’s climate as mental health take centerstage in our society, with so many coming forth proclaiming their struggles and seeking aid in their fight. If you’re going through a troubling time, know someone else who is, or need a positive message, this book can provide you with words of inspiration and encouragement.
One poem in particular, ‘Conversations with Suicide,’ a soul-stirring composition directed towards individuals with suicidal thoughts and tendencies, gives readers a real-time description in verse exposing the conflicted series of thoughts and emotions experienced by someone contemplating the act of suicide.
One reader comments on how it affected her, “Conversations with Suicide was so profound in its delivery due to the chronological effects of how the discussion with oneself is had prior to committing suicide. This gives a feeling of shock and awe to the reader when seeing it written. As this conversation continues to unfold, it gives me pause in understanding why almost one million people die by suicide. Kyli, thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, hope, and transformation.” – Vernita Naylor, Readers’ Favorite
Having dealt with suicidal thoughts herself, Santiago understands the life-threatening consequences of suicidal ideation. She also knows the powerful impact poetry can have on a person. Santiago explains, “If this poem can be a present voice of reasoning in that critical, intense moment of emotion when a person is at risk of taking their own life – and change their mind by giving them a reason to live … then that means a life has been saved. And that means the world.”
As someone who suffered from depression from childhood into her thirties, Kyli Santiago speaks with conviction and authority about the true healing powers of poetry. She has self-published her debut poetry collection as a tool to help others facing similar mental health challenges.
Winner of the 2022 Pencraft Award for ‘Poetry/Music’ – Healing Yesterday’s Tears is 79 pages and is now available in paperback and eBook versions at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.