Thirty-six poems over 48 pages.
That’s what Gigi Bella settled on for her latest collection, “Big Feelings.”
“It’s a departure from all the other work I’ve made,” she says of the collection. “I’m primarily a spoken-word performer. It’s a flex on my craft. I didn’t go to school for poetry, and I learned a lot through this process.”
Gigi Bella was scheduled to go on a tour in support of the collection. When the tour was put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, she looked for a different way to promote the collection.
She began to reach out on social media and various websites to talk about the collection.
“I’m a little lucky because my release date was a little further off,” she says. “I try to stay positive about everything that is happening. I’d love to be on tour, but having the book still released in a big win for me. I never intended this book to be a pandemic book, but I think my writing will help readers open up. There’s a connection that we all need.”
Gigi Bella worked on the collection for three years. She submitted the book to her publisher three times before it was accepted.
She describes at the collection as a “memoir in verse,” and much of the book is about love and the ways we give ourselves to people and sometimes a country that does not love us back.
“I also tried to talk about what it’s like to be a millennial Latina dating in this era and detail a relationship I had with someone who was undocumented,” she says. “It is ultimately a book about survival and how the biggest feelings have to be for you, yourself, and all of your ancestors before you, first and foremost.”
Gigi Bella tries to remain productive these days.
“It is a little harder,” she says. “In moments that are unprecedented like this. When I’m very depressed and grieving, I’m finding the process in weird little grooves. Writing comes easier first thing in the morning and late at night.”