Poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
Welcome to the breadcrumbs of poetry that Desirae Diaz has scattered across her journals over the last six years. A Way Back Home is a coming of age story about the ways that God and love and confusion can make one feel like a champion of the world in one moment and a slave to it the next. This chapbook begins with Ms. Diaz and her motley crew of loved ones getting kicked out of the yard for their self-important recklessness. When they are introduced to the power of love, they become builders. They create moments and memories that connect them in funny, accidental ways. The hurt that shapes people across these moments might still be stored in their bodies like boxes in the attic. However, somewhere between that pain and that joy, Desirae & co. decide to lean into the love that permeates it all. A once unruly and, still, motley crew becomes body and soul instead of just skin and bones. As they leave the Eden of ignorance, they learn that all of life is a garden. What grows is what you sow.
From the adventures and tribulations that defined Ms. Diaz’s adolescence to the philosophies of life that she’s come to understand in her adulthood, this book gives a glimpse into the universally subjective experience of getting older. It can be insufferable to figure out what or who you should be when you are regularly flooded with conflicting opinions about what is right and what is wrong. The beginning of Ms. Diaz’s final poem states that, “You know if it is not a swamp, it is not yet the truth,” because humanity is not destined to be cut and dry. Humanity is fundamentally messy and flawed, and Ms. Diaz believes that is the most beautiful, wonderful thing about us. She believes that every fumbling step towards self-realization should be appreciated and romanticized. She believes that we all deserve to extend grace to ourselves and to everyone around us because we are all, ultimately, just trying to figure out our way back home.
Desirae Diaz’s philosophy of life is that people are wired for creation by nature, and she is committed to demonstrating and endorsing that virtue through her writing. From the time Ms. Diaz started writing short stories for her classmates in elementary school, she has been enamored with the arts. Her creative and academic development have since been intertwined, and in 2018, she got her first publishing opportunity through an internship with Hers magazine. Since then, Ms. Diaz has worked on a number of solo and collaborative projects, and she nurtures the relationships she’s fostered throughout the process. She trusts that persistence always pays off, and that God blesses those who seek to bless themselves, so she leans into what she loves more and more each day. Her family, friends, and boyfriend are her inspiration on good days and motivation on the hard ones, and Ms. Diaz is proud to say that she would not be herself without their love.