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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

05/10/2024 UNMASKED

Unmasked is my first poetry collection. It is a highly personal project that reflects my inner self, my pain, my struggles, my heartbreak, losses, and grief. It's a look at the author as a whole person, not just the outer shell that most people see.

For me, I wanted my readers to see my truest self. To find someone to relate to that is just like them, that hurts like they do, that has known pain, that has loved and lost, that has been insecure and scared and lonely. I am no different than anyone and my poetry has always been a direct connection to my life experiences moment by moment.

The collection contains a selection of poetry that span the last twenty years of my life, all chosen to be a marker of my life, my emotions, and my inner self at various points along the way. I hope that any reader finds something within to relate to.


My Introduction for UNMASKED

Poetry is the purest, deepest expression of self. It is raw emotion spilled onto a page for all to see. It can be more powerful than speech, more grand than the grandest of gestures, and more emotional than any other form of expression.

It conveys that which we cannot say, those feelings we cannot reveal. The love we cannot admit, the grief that will not lift, the sadness that won’t let us breathe, the joy that we are helpless to describe in voice. It’s a song from one heart to another, a story, a memory, a proposal, an apology. It can be whatever the writer needs it to be.

When a poet hands you a poem, believe me when I say that they have stripped themselves bare, cut open their chest and stand before you, naked and terrified, handing over their heart. You’ll never have a truer glimpse into the soul of another than that moment.

With that being said, here I stand, naked and terrified…unmasked.

--Candace Nola


High Praise for UNMASKED

“Nola’s poetry collection takes a relentless look at the pain that rages behind the masks humans wear to hide hearts broken on the wheel of love, futures shattered by cruel childhoods and hope turned to ashes by others who use people like toys. She gives voice to the silently weeping wounds hidden behind polite, strained smiles.” — Linda D. Addison, award-winning author and SFPA Grand Master.

“Candace’s UNMASKED is a slide into a warm bath only to realize you’ve descended into dark, murky waters of emotion. Raw, unfiltered, and vulnerable, she takes you on a tour through her own personal hell. UNMASKED drops the façade and gives you realness, exposing the treachery of a well-placed smile for the lights and camera of the world.” - Lisa Vasquez, author of THE UNFLESHED: TALE OF THE AUTOPSIC BRIDE

“Nola mines the depths of experience. Unmasked basks in the dark, and let readers know that it’s okay to be in a dark place. There is strength in darkness.” - Robert Ottone, author of THE VILE THING WE CREATED.



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