Book Cover Symbolism

For the cover of my first book, I was anxious to convey the correct message and do the words inside of it justice. After sketching a drawing of a girl with gray hair and colorful tears, I felt that it had been complete and this feeling went on for weeks. However, I soon decided that it needed something more. It needed the factor that would create an emotional connection with someone. When I stumbled upon pictures from my childhood, I was drawn to my eyes. I knew that I needed to somehow incorporate them into my book cover. They are displayed in a black and white filter to convey the same message as the gray hair and face, which is an emotionless persona. However, the eyes symbolize a truth that I am trying to relay through my words. What exactly the truth is depends on how someone is impacted by the work, but there is some type of honesty that is flowing through those pages. Additionally, the colorful tears represent how even though my entire world feels empty and void of color, my emotions are what give color to the days where everything is gray.


I understood from the days after writing for The Love of an Angel that I had to do something completely different, yet similar with its cover. Something different due to the fact that it is fully unlike the message I was conveying with my initial work, but similar because of the recurring thoughts that I made present in this book. I knew that I had to keep the eyes because I had such a connection to their meaning. Rather than sticking with one image, however, I had the desire to include more because I was feeling more. After all, each book cover corresponds with how much I am feeling during that time. I used two images of my eyes as a child with a black and white filter in order to relay the same message from my first cover, which is that they are emotionless. However, the other pair of eyes are in color and are what mine currently look like. They are fuller, more vibrant, but most importantly, they hold emotion in them. They symbolize how I had to go through years of feeling nothing in order to experience true emotion during this point in my life. The reason for the majority of the cover being colored black is due to the fact that I had to fight through the darkness in order to convey my truth and feel my true and positive emotions. The eyes from my childhood are next to my current eyes to show how I was struggling to maintain a balance in my life, as I drift between my past and present. The blue iris on the cover connects to the last section of the book.


After weeks of not knowing what to name this collection, I settled with The Dream, and I would not let go of the idea that this book was apart of the fantasy of my mind. Just reading it feels as though I am in another world, a dream world, therefore I needed to do something special for the cover. This picture was taken in my backyard during the summer. I didn’t know it then, but this was the perfect image for the cover of the third book in my trilogy. Firstly, the sunglasses are what my eyes are drawn to initially and they hold the most meaning. In my other two covers, I had my eyes uncovered. I was able to see clearly, but in this image, I have my eyes covered by these rose colored glasses. This symbolizes the fact that in my other two works, I was able to view the world as it was given to me, but in The Dream, I take a different route. I see this world as what it isn’t because I am dreaming. Therefore everything is skewed and not truly real, including my emotions.


Seven is a stand-alone collection of poetry, therefore I did not want to include anything regarding my eyes, seeing as it is different from my trilogy. What inspired this cover was my poem from Inside the Mind of Tragedy titled, “Three Sides”, in which I describe a person who was not only all good or all bad. I wrote, “She had a peace to her, a part of complete equality, where the demon had a halo and the angel grew some horns.” This solely lead me to sketch an image of a girl with devil horns and a tail, but a halo and angel wings. It was my attempt to show that no one is completely one thing, rather a combination of aspects. In this case, she is two opposites and the balance between them.


Moonbeam remains the most difficult collection I’ve written so far, however I wanted the cover of the book to be simple. I didn’t have this idea of bombarding the readers with a complex cover because what is within the chapbook is complex enough. I chose a grey background, something that none of my other collections have because my Moonbeam makes me feel grey. There were the bright and dark moments, but ultimately, I felt balance. I have a butterfly as the center of the cover because in the first poem I wrote for her, titled “For the beautiful one,” I called her a butterfly. The butterfly only has one wing completely colored in and the rest are either white or grey and they are outlined. The main part of the butterfly is black. This conveys the darkness that my Moonbeam contains inside. She may hide it on the outside, with a smile or a poker face, but I know what lies within. After all that occurred between us, I could’ve been heartless enough to leave all the wings empty, but I couldn’t. I know that there is a light to her, despite the darkness.


The idea for the cover of For You came straight from one line that I wrote in the last poem of the book.

“pain is worth every tear because those tears water the seeds of hope that blossom.”

It truly moved me and led to me to create the cover surrounding that idea. I thought it was such a beautiful thing to have hope blossom from the seed that my tears from pain watered. Therefore, the yellow circle underneath the flower represents hope, while I have the eyes crying tears that water the flower. I chose the color pink because it was another pastel color that went well with the blue, green and yellow. However, it also takes me back to my childhood, where I had some of my greatest moments, so it also a symbol of me returning to a better place through these words.


I knew from the start that I wanted the cover of Ninety to be simple and not include as much as my previous covers. The reason for this being that what’s within the pages is so meaningful and has such a deep impact that I wanted there to be a contrast. Therefore, the exterior would be a complete opposite from the interior, which reflects my relationship with the person I am writing about. While it looked one way on the outside, there were multitudes of pain and emotions circling within us. I chose the flower to be the main symbol of the cover due to something that I once wrote about this person. It said that I’d draw flowers when I didn’t know what to write about them. Because flowers have had a place in our connection from the start, I figured that it was the best representation of everything that Ninety means to me.

The Things that Keep Me Up at Night is my most saddening collection. Because of how raw and honest the words within these pages are, I understood that I had to reflect this in the cover. I had to be completely unfiltered, more so than I was with my previous works. I wanted the reader to be able to connect with the emotions I felt while writing this book. Therefore, I chose four pictures of a night where I was kept up by racing, haunting thoughts. In that moment of pain, I knew that I wanted my teary eyes to have a place on the cover of this book. I needed my readers to not feel alone in the way that thoughts can restrain us from falling asleep and starting anew. I needed them to not feel alone. This collection is bare in a different way, and I feel that my pure emotion was the only way to truly convey that.