Have You Ever Been Mine? – A Letter to my Body

Have You Ever Been Mine? – A Letter to my Body was published by Riza Press in June 2020.
Author and illustrator: Ava Balis

The book is available in most international bookstores, online and in print. Find this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Indigo, and many more.

This poetry and art collection explores the ways in which the body comes to be defined by others until one’s own self-worth becomes intimately tied to these definitions and expectations. This is a memoir told though poetry and art, entwining experiences of eating disorders, self-hatred, and hurtful relationships through one common thread: a learned reliance on basing who you are and what you’re worth on others’ definitions of you.  In the end, it is not through moving outside of one’s body but is instead in reclaiming what it means to inhabit one’s body fully and lovingly that healing begins.

These poems were written and compiled throughout 2018, emerging unintentionally out of a series of introspection-provoking experiences. The writing of this collection sparked in Ava Balis a love for expression through poetry; and between its first draft to its publication, Balis has compiled a poetry anthology, titled “Mosaic” (published in April 2019), and founded Riza Press in May 2019. believing creativity is an essential human expression, she works to promote art in any shape and form through making publishing more accessible and helping creators reach a public audience more easily. Through Riza’s publications and annual poetry and art journal, she hopes to help others find the same solace in creative expression that she has found.