"The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder" is a collection of poems that explores a tumultuous year of love, heartbreak, and all kinds of unimaginable loss. Emmanuella's debut poetry book documents the birth and death of a relationship, and the death of her sister. Each poem is an emotional time-stamp that plunges the reader into the depths of the author’s feelings as they burgeon and wane. The book reads like a diary and chronicles the boundaries of the things that we all feel: passion, heartache, and pain that gives way to hope.
"Emmanuella’s poetry is very heartfelt and deep. Her poems are well-written and she’s an extremely talented author. This is a must buy! 🙌🏾❤️👏🏽"
"How can one possibly rate someone else's poetry and words? It's so very personal, on both sides. For the one sharing and the one reading. It takes such courage to share one's inner most thoughts and put it out there for others. I loved this.
Beautiful and honest, Emmanuela has been able to put into words what so many of us have felt, and what our hearts have not been able to put into words. Hard and clean, in the way you feel after a good cry. Cathartic and real. Absolutely wonderful."
"Through truly heartfelt, gut-wrenching poetry, Emmanuella tells the deeply personal story of the rise and fall of a relationship, against the backdrop of the devastating sadness of loss. She is a lovely poet, who feels every word, not so much writing them as sobbing, then eventually roaring them onto the page. Written like a journal, its entries in prose, you do find yourself suspecting this book is the direct publication of a genuine diary this author composed. Whilst feeling somewhat voyeuristic, if this were indeed the case, you realize that she has a strong message toward the end of it, and does indeed want it to be read.
It tells the tale of love found, which then self-destructs, leaving a bitter legacy. Emmanuella dissects and analyses the process of falling in love with wonder and disbelief, as if it were the most magical experience. The kisses of the title provide a metaphor for every aspect of love and the sexuality it brings. At first hopeful, her lover is breaking down the barriers between them – her defences – as she struggles to contain a repressed inner turmoil around trust; you find out the source of this turmoil in the book’s final third, as light turns to dark and hope to despair. Until that point, this chronological collection brims with mystery and ambiguity. Sadly, you do start to share the author’s suspicions that her feelings are not reciprocated, and that her lover may be treating her as no more than another conquest, like so many others do. She portrays this switch in tone subtly, yet clearly, but still she is head over heels, even when he leaves her. By the closing pages, her heartbreak has become a very unhealthy obsession, and you do find yourself wishing she could find her way to moving on, for the sake of her happiness. Saddest of all is that so painful is this time for her, she would have preferred not to have found the love at all.
Emmanuella is definitely suffering through this whole period, compounded by the gradual passing of her sister, and her unnamed lover’s callousness toward her at a time when she needed him most. Ultimately, though this provides the ingredients, it is an innocuous article in a newspaper which acts as the trigger for her to unlock that repressed anger within her, and it spews out in the book’s last third. At this point, this book becomes quite difficult to read – her heartbreak turns to bitterness and vitriol, as she recounts her appallingly misogynistic and at times abusive treatment, at the hands of men (and boys) through her life, as a woman and child. As a man, you do wonder at your own complicit obliviousness, wondering if this must really be what life as a woman is like; I found myself hoping that perhaps Emmanuella was an unfortunate and unlikely minority, in respect of the sheer amount of harassment she has endured, but I feel, deep down, that she is not – she is simply a woman in a man’s world, and this period in her life has acted as a catalyst for her revolution. The sense of abuse she feels is profound, and whilst clearly aggravated by the relationship breakdown, the loss of her sister has made her reflective.
I enjoyed reading this very personal account, though I’m not sure if I was supposed to. In literary terms, it is a well-written book and Emmanuella’s poetry is wonderful, her use of language sometimes sublime, and laden with metaphor from one line to the next. I hope she finds it in herself to move past the reason for her work, and comes to like it for its quality. Whether she decides to promote it or move on from it, I hope it has served its purpose, which is to give the author strength and closure."
“It reads like a diary because at one point it was my diary,” said Emmanuella Hristova of Bay Point, a local author and poet, who recently published her first book of poems entitled, The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder.
The Oakland native and UC Berkeley graduate has spent her entire life working on her art, and dabbled in poetry when she was in high school, but had never considered it her artistic outlet of choice until recently.
“I didn’t really start writing poetry again until I was in grad school. It was when I was in a relationship, and I fell in love for the first time, and then we broke up. Two weeks later I found out my sister was dying. That was all my first year of grad school. It was really, really difficult for me,” said Hristova.
Writing was an essential part of the healing process for Hristova and, through her words, she hopes to help others heal from their own heart aches.
“What I wrote for myself, if it could help someone else going through something really hard, whether it was a break up or losing someone they love to cancer, I wanted my work to be out there,” said Hristova.
During her time in graduate school, Hristova melded her raw emotion and inner turmoil into a book-length collection of poems, but decided to let them sit for a while until she had fully processed her feelings. When she revisited her work nearly a year later, one of her close friends urged Hristova to publish her poems. After finding an editor and assembling the manuscript for an e-book, Hristova’s work became reality.
“Editing takes a lot of time,” said Hristova, laughing, as she reflected on the process of publishing her work.
The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder, was originally published online on April 13 of this year and is now available on several online retailers, like Amazon and iBooks. Because this project means so much to Hristova, her goal was to have as much agency over the production as possible. For those areas of production which Hristova could not complete on her own, she sought the help of other women for the project.
“Since I made the decision to self publish, and I created the cover and the images, obviously I had a lot of liberty of the creative production. So, when it came time to work with an editor…I chose to work with women because I think it is very rare to find a creative production that is female created,” said Hristova.
With The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder now complete, Hristova plans to spend some time abroad and unwind from this venture. However, she plans to continue writing and more projects are around the corner.
“I actually started writing a novel a year ago, so this next year while I’m abroad I want to finish that manuscript. I also have another manuscript for another poetry book, but that won’t be for a while…it’s just where I keep the poetry I’m writing right now,” said Hristova.
For more information on Hristova and her artistic endeavors, visit her webesite at http://www.ehristova.com.