WNBA Player Talks Relationships and Unrealistic Expectations in Her New Book Of Poetry, “Notes in the Key of Heart Break”
Style Magazine Newswire | 3/28/2018, 11:14 a.m.
Austin, TX — WNBA star, poet, writer and mental health advocate, Imani McGee-Stafford, adds published author to her burgeoning brand. Notes in The Key of Heartbreak, a book of poems by the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream center standout, is the next chapter in McGee-Stafford’s remarkable journey towards becoming a true renaissance woman.
“We are taught to search for love outside ourselves from a young age. We watch fairytales and romanticize relationships in search of the elusive ‘happily ever after’,” McGee-Stafford writes. “However, growing up, many of us don’t experience healthy, loving relationships so, we are sent into the world stumbling through heartbreaks, simply trying to do our best.”
As a child, McGee-Stafford was molested by a family member and raised in an abusive and negligent environment, spending many of her teen years depressed and suicidal. In 2012, she earned a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, where she eventually received the support and mental health services she long needed – support that also ultimately equipped her with enough courage to share her story. “Some of us never do the work to make ourselves whole even though we all know that none of us can give what we don’t have,” said McGee-Stafford, who champions mental health through her speeches in corporations, organizations, and schools around the country.
Seeking the “happily ever after” so many long for, McGee-Stafford met her college sweetheart at age 17. By age 20 they’d gotten married. And by age 23, they were divorced. While McGee-Stafford struggled to reach her potential as a basketball player in an elite program at Texas, she says the lessons of love were perhaps her greatest challenge. “Did we love each other because it looked and felt good?” writes McGee-Stafford, who’s entering her third season in the WNBA. “Or, did we love each other because it’s easier to ignore yourself when someone is standing next to you?”
The collection of poems taps into the tapestry of McGee-Stafford’s pain and experiences, and includes favorites like “Dad Says,” “I Keep Praying That You’ll Love Me,” “It Takes A Special Kind of Woman To Walk Away,” “I’m Deleting Your Pictures Off Social Media Because That’s What People Do In Breakups,” and “I Wonder What You Say About Me When They Ask About Us.”
Notes in The Key of Heartbreak is also resonating with readers around the country:
“One who hoped … no … one who knew she could save lives by speaking out loud. That’s what Imani McGee-Stafford does in this book. These poems are loud. There’s nothing discreet or hidden or foggy. They’re straight from the desperate, dark places we don’t like to talk about. But she does it anyway.” — William Walker
“This book touched my heart. It made me think of walking away from what no longer served me and learning to be okay with that decision. It reminded me that it’s always okay to walk away and figure yourself out. It is real experience expressed through transparency and vulnerability. I connected with that.” — Tika
The digital version is currently available online via Kindle on Amazon.com. The print version can be found online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The audio and visual representations will soon be available. Order at Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Check out Notes in The Key of Heartbreak Book Release Party: