Who Is Lana Rafaela?

My poetic journey started by writing the things I always wished someone would tell me. It turned out, I wasn’t the only one who needed to hear it.

I first started publishing my poetry on Tumblr in 2016, under the username sunsetablaze. It made sense, as Tumblr was the place where I originally realized that I wasn’t opposed to poetry. The platform showed me Charles Bukowski and Warsan Shire, after all, who are still my greatest literary influences to this day.

With time, I realized that I wouldn’t stop writing. My work was published in Z Poetry’s Anthology of International Indie Poetry, but it wasn’t just that; people were finding my poems comforting.

They said they reminded them of how strong they were. At the end of the day, the world may not have changed, but at least there were words that could brighten up a second or two.

For me, that was enough.

I kept writing all through 2016 and 2017, and produced poems I Think It’s Brave and Spread Your Wings (Good News: You Can Save Yourself).

Finally, I published my first poetry collection, This Is How You Survive, on November 05, 2017.

It came as the final chapter to the first stage of my journey. Poetry had given me a lot: incredible friendships, appreciation, and a better sense of the world around me. Things didn’t magically improve, that’s true.

But they sure were a lot easier.

And if that isn’t a cause for celebration, I don’t know what is.

So that’s what I’m doing with my poetry today: I’m celebrating.

I’m celebrating everything we’ve achieved, in spite of the obstacles in our paths.

I’m celebrating the feeling of being so full of ourselves in the best possible way.

I’m celebrating the things we are, the things we’re not, and the things we’ll become anyway.

Because it’s our life.

Even when it hurts.