Suffering inspires SJU student

St. John’s University undergraduate Angelita Gonzalez has been through a lot in her short 20 years on Earth. Her father passed away in a tragic accident before she was a month old and her relationship with her mother is tumultuous to say the least.

It is her confidence, personable attitude and natural beauty that shine through upon first meeting her, but Gonzalez offers the world a private look at her personal life in her first published work, Fly High, which was published in August 2007.

Rather than keeping her feelings to herself, Gonzalez has opened up to the public in a collection of poems. The title is a play on her nickname with friends, “Spanish Fli.” Her poems deal with a variety of issues ranging from heartbreak to parental troubles, as well as dating and the double standards that women face in that field.

Fly High connects to an audience not usually interested in poetry. Most people 15 to 21 years of age only have read the works of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou as assignments in class. Gonzalez’s book speaks on the realities of the ‘hood, the craving of a parent’s love and understanding which most teenagers feel as though they are denied, and of course young love.

“To be honest, this collection of 20 poems is not intended for a younger audience, profanity is used often stemming from the anger and hurt I was feeling at the time,” Gonzalez warns.

“‘Daddy’ is easily my most emotional poem. I can honestly say that there will be a void in my life that never be filled, no matter whom I meet or what I accomplish as a result of his death early in my life.”

After some research and networking, Gonzalez aimed to put her poems in print. A website service allowed Gonzalez to design the book and self-publish her first collection of poems.

Her motivation did not go unrewarded, as her book is now available for purchase on barnesandnoble.com. “The hardest part is promotion and getting people to actually read your book. Frankly no one wants to spend money on an author that they don’t really recognize,” Gonzalez notes.

Gonzalez is currently majoring in Legal Studies at St. John’s College.

“I want a career that gives me the freedom to travel, meet different people and talk about literature and other worldly topics.”