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Interviews

Finding Healing Through Words with Poet Celeste Gomez

Celeste Gomez, a passionate poet and creative writer, embarked on her journey into poetry at a young age. Her collection, “Besos,” is a profound reflection of her personal experiences with loss, grief, and heartbreak. Through the healing power of poetry, Celeste has not only found her voice but has also inspired others to confront and embrace their own emotions. In this candid interview, she shares the intimate process of crafting “Besos,” the challenges she overcame, and the empowering message she hopes to convey to her readers. Celeste’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of creative expression.

Photo Credits: Rielle Oase

Can you share a bit about your personal journey and how it led you to writing poetry?

My personal journey to writing started at a very young age. I wrote poetry, short stories, and plays. I got more involved in poetry when I was a junior in college. I was going through a rough time mentally and poetry helped me understand my feelings deeply and I began writing it. I then added poetry into my emphasis for my major (Creative Writing).

What specific experiences or emotions inspired your poetry collection, “Besos”?

I wrote Besos because I left an unhealthy relationship during that time. I finally felt free and also angry at the same time because I never go to say how hurt that person made me feel so I turned to poetry to give myself closer. I realized that I also repressed feelings of grief I felt. My mother passed away at 18 and things zoomed quickly. I graduated high school then it was college, and I had no real time to grieve, so my writing was also fueled by that emotion. I finally had the confidence to express how I felt and stand up to others.

How did writing poetry help you navigate through moments of loss, grief, and heartbreak?

Writing poetry helped me navigate loss, grief, and heartbreak because I was sharing poems that resonated with others and it helped me talk about the struggles I was dealing with. Poetry is very open and diverse, so it made me get out of my shell.

 Were there any particular poets or books that influenced your writing style or approach?

Rupi Kaur, Najwa Zebian, Ada Limon, and Yesika Salgado were inspirations of mine, the raw and vulnerability in their poetry helped me express certain issues I was afraid to talk about.

What challenges did you face while creating “Besos,” and how did you overcome them?

Some challenges I dealt with writing Besos was reliving the trauma. In the book, I have candid text messages that my ex sent to me. Reading through each text and choosing which ones to place in the book was hard. I didn’t think I would ever have to read them again, but I knew it was important to include them in there. Another challenge I faced was getting rejected from publishing houses and grad school programs. I thought that they would help with resources, but after researching on my own I was able to find writer groups that shared their journeys which helped me.

Your book is focused on healing. Could you elaborate on the healing process through poetry?

The healing process for my book is definitely powered through finding boundaries within family and finding love for yourself after leaving a toxic relationship of any kind whether its romantical or platonic. I remind the reader that it may be hard at this moment, but with grace you’ll find light.

 How do you think poetry can empower and support women in their personal journeys?

Poetry can support and empower women in many ways. Writing is an intimate healing tool because its the person with their thoughts. No distractions. It is centered around you and your feelings you want to express, that you get to say that you weren’t able to before. It allows you to yell and cry in your words.

Can you share a memorable moment or feedback you received from a reader about your poetry?

I was at the mall and a girl I went to high school came up to me and told me she bought my book. She told me she read my book during a plane ride and connected to the poems in the section Recollection. It was a wild experience because I didn’t think anyone from high school would even remember me, so it made me feel good to know that Besos was healing others even the ones I didn’t think it would.

What advice would you give to other women who are looking to express themselves through writing or poetry?

I would say be brave and strong through the whole process and believe in yourself. There are going to be people who try to tear you down or invalidate your feelings especially when you’re a women. Remember that you wrote that piece for a reason, stick with your gut.

In what ways do you think creativity and self-expression can contribute to personal growth and healing?

Creativity contributes to growth and healing because it builds your confidence and heals inner wounds that sometimes you didn’t know you had. It helps you give closure to any potential trauma you experienced and it allows you to build community. Community supports you and strives for you to grow.

How do you balance vulnerability and strength in your poetry?

I balance strength and vulnerability within my poetry by seeing which lines resonate most with others and what makes sense for the theme. I like to share my experiences, but there are certain aspects in my life I keep private and save for journaling.

What future projects or themes are you excited to explore in your writing?


I’m working on a second book, solo projects, and have two launching that you’ll see soon!

How has living in Los Angeles influenced your writing and artistic expression?

Living in Los Angeles has helped me build my creative community.

Can you describe a typical writing process for creating your poetry pieces?

Typically a writing session for me is where I lay out poems I’ve stored away or are currently working on and I’m figuring out how I can potentially combine them or create another piece. I also have tons of sheets on the floor writing words that inspire me or lines, then crossing them out and reading them. It is a lengthy, but fun process. I love it. I take my writing session very personally and I have music on to stay in the zone.

Lastly, what message or emotion do you hope readers take away from “Besos”?

I want readers to takeaway from Besos feelings of peace, power, and empathy.

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    by Harness Editor

    Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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