D.A. Simants is a writer and poet from Aurora, Colorado. Themes in their writing include disability, mental illness, abuse, LGBTQIA+ identity, and grief, all of which they have experienced personally. They are dedicated to the creation of new and interesting stories, with an eye towards inclusion and representation, to entertain while simultaneously providing substance.
69 Impossible Things to Never, Ever Do
Amazon's #1 New Release in LGBT Poetry and #7 Bestseller in LGBT Poetry during June, 2020
Inspired by works of Dadaism such as Grapefruit by Yoko Ono, 69 Impossible Things to Never, Ever Do is an absurd, witty, and soulful exploration of a myriad of topics, from the meaninglessness of life to lobster discos. As witty as it is sad, as outrageous as it is useless, the only rule is to never, ever do anything this poetry book recommends.
- 69 main-work poems
- 13 'extra' poems and short stories
- 26 original illustrations
- Materials originally published by the Dragon Poetry Review, Awakened Voices, The Lindenwood Review, and Seven CirclePress, the rights to which reverted to the author upon publication
How do you live with tragedy? How do you return to your day-to-day life? Is there a way to forgive yourself? To solve these and other mysteries, The Editor submerges himself in the letters of two mental patients from 19th century Russia. Through Estelle, a survivor of sexual assault with a Machiavellian view of others, and Sonia, a young and neglected lesbian overrun with anxiety and sensitivity, he gains a new perspective on life. New questions begin to emerge. Who is Mr. Moloch? What caused the tragedy in Saint Francis Women’s Asylum? And why is everyone so desperate to ignore what happened to Imperial Russia? The answers might be enough to overwhelm him.
Introspective and deeply psychological, D.A. Simants’s debut novel pays homage to resilience in moments of great mental torment. Inspired by the author’s own experiences with schizophrenia and abuse, Mostly Melancholy is an ambitious tribute to reflection and forgiveness.
Praise for Mostly Melancholy:
"Beautifully written, introspective, and captivating." - Beta Reader
"I absolutely loved the premise of this." - Literary Agent, on reading a sample
You can get it here:
for emme and dominic
for emme and dominic is a poem published by Seven CirclePress. Inspired by a conversation with two close friends and written during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it attempts to capture the loss of a world that might have been, a sweet nothing filled with void and citrus. How many people could have been here, walking down the sidewalks, waving to their neighbors, yet remain sorrowfully absent? You can meet them on page 35 of this issue.
The Angel of Pessoa
The Angel of Pessoa is a short story published by The Lindenwood Review. Through the eyes of a young boy obsessed with a stone angel, D.A. Simants expertly conveys the universal human emotion of longing. The young boy dreams of a return to innocence while ignoring or denying the potential consequences., leading to disaster. The story appears in Issue 10 of the journal.
Elizabeth is a flash fiction published by Dragon Poet Review. It's one of the worst experiences in the world to stand by while a loved one's health slowly deteriorates, especially when they're diagnosed with a terminal illness at a young age, but facing those kinds of experiences through a distanced medium like fiction can be cathartic for both reader and writer. It's an honor to share one such piece with the world, available on page 58 of this edition.
Power of the Storm, Beauty, a mess
Power of the Storm, Beauty, and a mess are poems published by Awakened Voices, a literary magazine advocating for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. In response to the theme of Issue 9, Erasure, D.A. Simants took poems they had written their abuser while they were still together and blacked out certain sections, creating a clearer picture. Their poems appear on pages 104-109.
A note: along the way, due to miscommunications and a lack of proofs, two errors were created. D.A. Simants' s name was misspelled as D.A. Simantis, and a mess was published as a part of Beauty. The publication remains of high quality and has a positive impact in the world.
Vulification is a flash fiction published by Awakenings: A Nightingale, the blog of Awakened Voices. It contains a lesson organically learned through the author's experience of guilt and blame due to their past abusive relationship. The editors of Awakened Voices had this to say:
"In this response to our July prompt, D.A. Simants creates a new word to describe a perpetrator’s act of weakening and causing harm. Although the word shares a root with 'vulnerable,' Simants skillfully adjusts the perspective of this meaning of weakness and pain to encourage our readers to view it not as an inherent trait or experience of the person experiencing violence, but instead an active harm pushed on the survivor. Simants is able to address the experience of blame that survivors encounter, and remind readers that trauma isn’t their fault — and freedom from blame is part of what leads to healing."
God is Trans
During pride month 2019, D.A. Simants self-published a short story in honor of the LGBTQ+ community, of which they are a member. In the story, God begins her life as a male but eventually reconciles with her identity as a women before the New Testament.