JoAnna Novak writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her debut novel, I MUST HAVE YOU, will be published in 2017. She lives in Los Angeles.

JoAnna’s Latest Articles

7 Poems To Heal Your Feminist Heart

If you want to commit to something — a creative practice, a way of life, even a dietary change — you can never remind yourself too often of your goals. Not surprisingly, the advent of 2017 brought lots of resolutions about practicing feminism, and — hey, it's okay if one or two or five of those have fallen by the wayside. In fact, it's never too late to get back on that feminist horse and ride toward that sunset. In other words, you can heal your feminist heart, no matter how many blows it's suf…

By JoAnna Novak

9 Chilling Poems That Will Totally Freak You Out

It's a failure of imagination to relegate fright fests to Halloween; in fact, it's always exciting when we can find ways to be simultaneously entertained and terrified. And, given that National Poetry Month is just around the corner, there's no more seasonally appropriate way to get your chills on than by reading some scary poems. Yep. Poems can, without a doubt, freak you out. Why do we readers like to be scared? Writer Neil Gaiman has some insights: Fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses…

By JoAnna Novak

7 Poems To #ReflectAndResist

Big news on the feminist front: The Women's March has announced its fifth action, Reflect & Resist, and bookworms everywhere surely must be thrilled. Unlike the demonstrations and marches and protests of the past few months, Reflect & Resist is about reading or watching or listening to work you can discuss with others. Sharing and conversation are key to this deeply personal action. I like how Women's March defines the action: Action five is designed to educate some, and refresh others, throug…

By JoAnna Novak

7 Of The Most Heartbreaking Poems About Love

Though the great, wonderful, and wise Maya Angelou wrote, "Love recognizes no barriers," anyone who's dealing with heartbreak knows that... well, that's not always the case. Sucky as it may be, love often knows barriers all too well. Striving for love, dealing with unrequited love, falling out of love... you name it, and there's another heartbreaking situation involving the heart. You know that friend who tries to convince you that your heartache is the sign of a tremendously character-building…

By JoAnna Novak

Poems About ED (& Recovery) To Consider This Week

If you're me, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week you doing some serious thinking about the role eating disorders have played in your life. OK, even if you haven't struggled with food yourself, odds are you know someone who has. Is anyone surprised by the stats? Twenty million women will have an eating disorder in their lifetimes, as will 10 million men, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Still, as important as it is to acknowledge the very real complexity of the subject…

By JoAnna Novak

These Books Were Canceled, Postponed, Or Pulled

The news is coming fast and furious, especially when its concerns the dealings of former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. The human controversy machine resigned from his post as Breitbart news editor, a move that came on the heels of the The Reagan Battalion publishing a video where Yiannopoulos makes light of pedophilia. That video prompted Simon & Schuster, the publisher that was scheduled to publish Yiannopoulos' book Dangerous in March, to drop their client and fast. In the weeks leading…

By JoAnna Novak

7 Poems To Help You Deal With Anxiety

It's no secret to those of us who deal with anxiety that it's not just being really, really nervous. Forty million adults deal with anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and only 42.2 percent of those people are in treatment. Recently, Psychology Today reported that the American Psychological Association released the 411 from its annual Stress in America study, and the results aren't comforting: "In January 2017, for the first time in its 10 year history, the s…

By JoAnna Novak

7 Novels You Can Read Over A Three-Day Weekend

Despite the important and very serious causes for celebration that inspire them, three-day weekends are often mini-benders of debauchery or, at least, fun. There's one more night to go out, one more midday to brunch, one more afternoon to bless with a nap. While you might look forward to a three-day weekend to accomplish more, the truth too often is that you realize just how hard it is to be during unstructured time. Fortunately, there's something that can help bring order and a sense of satisfa…

By JoAnna Novak

7 Poems For A Solo Valentine's Day

Okay, so once everyone's favorite holiday, Galantine's Day, has come and gone, there's still the fourteenth day of February to reckon with. If you're planning on tackling the big day solo, you can pretty much be assured that you're in for a treat, so long as you don't subject yourself to the weird torture of staying alone in a swanky hotel room (it happened; don't ask) or deciding this is the perfect time to experiment with going out for dinner as a party of one. Really, poems are the perfect r…

By JoAnna Novak

9 Poems To Give Your Sweetie For Valentine's Day

If you're a fan of Valentine's Day you know that more than half the fun of the occasion is the prep. Whether you're shopping for a special outfit — or a special something to wear under that outfit — planning an on-point date night menu, or crafting the best playlist ever, you know that what Jackie Kennedy once said is true: "It takes an awful lot of effort to make everything look effortless." But if you're looking for one more way to nail this Valentine's Day, it's time you change the game and g…

By JoAnna Novak