Nicole D’Settemi is an accomplished writer who released the critically acclaimed Addictarium: Aslyum of Anarchy in September of 2016. Since the release of her memoir, she has gone on to publish four poetry collections, is working on the second of eleven installments in The War Stories Chronicles which will serve as Addictarium’s prequel, and is launching a writing center digitally for aspiring authors in May!
The former, published art model has appeared on magazine covers such as Sexy Glam, FWM, International Music Magazine, Flaim, Soul central and inside a truckload of other publications, highlighting her work as an artist, writer, poet, and creative revolutionary!
Nicole is a 35-year-old recovering heroin addict, who is also an advocate for recovery, emotional wellness, and creative evolution. We are very excited to welcome Nicole, today!
Welcome Ms. D’Settemi, you’ve published several books at this point. Can you describe what that was like, and what inspired you to pen them?
Hi + thank you so much for having me here. I am a recovering addict first, and I published a part-real part-fiction memoir about a year and a half ago, which I was recently honored with an award from mega news-site breakaway daily for, and that was an amazing feat!
Addictarium was penned when I lived in a recovery unit for long-term residents in 2010-2012. I made so many amazing relationships, went through a lot of trauma and despair, recovered from suicide worship, and death obsession, and was able to also publish my poetry which is the work truest to my heart.
Addictarium is a book about recovering, but recovery from many things. I had to recover from my obsession with pain, my attraction to self-destructive behaviors, to shell people, to toxic love and obsessive relationships in all capacities. Even my friendships were tainted, and I had to really examine myself; my own psyche, and why. I brought Addictarium to life with all that, with a central focus on heroin addiction and recovery, but then with a backdrop of a love story as well. So there is a LOT in Addictarium.
What motivates you now as opposed to then, to continue down your path to self-awareness and improvement?
I am motivated by the idea of artistic evolution, number one. I believe art is the closest thing to divinity, which therefore served as an instrument to my own salvation. Once I could CREATE for a living, I started to let the light in. I am a firm believer in opposites though, so I know there has to be dark with the light. You can’t have only one. They don’t exist separate from each other. Nobody is only one of those things. So I accepted that as well–that darkness would always be part of me too. I was able to live, to gain insight on how to be healthy mentally, and that’s what I wanted to SHARE. For those broken souls, those wounded lost hurt jagged and jaded individuals who believe(d) suicide and death, sadness, and despair and agony, and hopelessness was it. I wanted to say; hey–you can be happy too, you can be okay. If I can, anybody can.
Your poetry has a lot of different elements, can you talk a little about your collection(s) and what they are about?
My first three-part collection; True Colors includes three very different books.
The initial installment–Lacking Shades of Grey is a lot of work I penned when I was in my teens and twenties, so it lacks maturity in certain ways. You can see the dark elements, the obsession with death, with despair. What I’ve always had even when I was as young as six, is a reflective and philosophical quality. I was always examining life, the world, people, human nature.
The second installment goes in a different direction. Black Beauty is a lot of work in that middle area, where there are more ‘shades of grey’–if you will. it’s also my most feminine installment because many of the poems are about love, sex, toxic relationships, intoxicating loves, date rapes, sexuality. Things that are hush-hush even today.
The third installment is The Colorful Disaster. It is titled as an opposite on purpose. It is saying; hey–I found that colorful area but I’m still damaged and still have a story to tell that while more colorful, filled with more dynamics, more themes, is still dark at times. So I am a disaster. Colorful now, but still damaged. And, the colorful disaster is probably my most mature collection. Most of it is work from the last few years and reflects on a wide array of themes. There are less confessional works, death, and darkness alone, and more philosophical themes. Racial issues, politics, and government, and feminism. I still reflect on recovery, heroin, addiction, depression, but with a different aspect. More insight. Emotional growth.
Finally, what is in store for Nicole the writer now?
I am penning NARCOTARY: Chemical Warfare which is the prequel and installment 2 (of eleven) parts to War Stories and Addictarium. I am also working on a new anthology of poetry, Mother Nature: Earth Bleeding Tears. There are two more installments for that collection, and then I have multiple other poetry works being planned.
One of the other things I am excited about is launching my writing program; a center for writing workshops and courses digitally, for aspiring authors! I also facilitate a LOT of blogs, including Voyage Addictarium – an ePaper that revolves around art + addiction, among other things.
I launched Starving Artist Magazine, a digital + Print publication in January. This is a creative lifestyle publication and I have been immersed in the digital artistic stratosphere as I work further on this. It’s been amazing meeting so many talents–writers, poets, memoirists, diarists, fine artists, designers, and others. I am truly happy!
Thank you so much for having me!