Upile Chisala Author Review: The Trinity of Peace, Self Love, and Black Femininity

I like to think that I’m not the only person who finds an influencer, artist, or celebrity and falls completely in love with their vibe. I’m not sure if it’s the book-lover in me, or the part of me that longs to have a “carefree black girl” persona but when I first found out about Upile Chisala, she instantly became the type of woman that I want to be. Transparent in her writings and charming with her prose, she appeals to all women, regardless of their age or race. In her three books: Soft Magic, Nectar, and A Fire Like Me, she paints the ideas of healing, growth, and love through each of her poems. By using her own narrative to help herself and others come to terms with the past and celebrate the present and future, her 3 books have become testaments to growth, self-love, and finding peace within yourself.


Soft Magic

In Chisala’s first book, she beautifully illustrates the idea that beauty is within and that we must never compromise ourselves for anyone or thing. In one of her poems she writes, “so I slip from between the sheets and feast on all the poems you should’ve written for me. All the poems I should’ve written for myself”. This idea of finding love within yourself instead of seeking it from others is used throughout the book, but each poem has its own flow and uniqueness. While many poems are about healing from past relationships, she also addresses the beauty of dark skin, ideas of family, and the strong black woman narrative. As a reader who rarely reads poems by the new generation of Black female authors, I really appreciated this book. For the first time, I was able to relate to the ideas that were being expressed and fully immerse myself into the poems.


More structured than the first book, Nectar has chapters based on things in nature: House of Honey, Soil & Roots, All That Grew, Our Garden, and Fruit. While nature is only mentioned in the chapter names, they are used as symbols. House of Honey representing what’s within one’s soul, Soil and Roots being our roots and things that make us ourselves. All That Grew symbolizing things that grew from our pains and experiences. Our Garden signifying love and togetherness, and Fruit being the beautiful results of growth. Also exploring ideas of growth and self love, Nectar focuses on change and renewal while Chisala explores who she is as a black woman. Because some poems are much shorter than the ones in her first book, some readers may not be as attracted to the book. Maybe it’s because I’m biased or because I am a fan of Chisala’s, but her short poems are just as captivating as the others. Her beautiful prose allows her writings to not only be entertaining but motivating for its readers to want to grow and heal from past relationships, whether romantic, professional, or friendships. 

A Fire Like Me

In her latest book, Chisala focuses on empowerment as she celebrates her past experiences and reflects on moments of hopelessness and marks them as opportunities for growth. She also explores who she is as a black woman while being an example for other black girls. Of Chisala’s three books, this is definitely my favorite because I can see myself in many of her writings. “Let Black Girls Be” is the most captivating to me as she talks about a certain spark that young black girls have that diminishes over time. 


Between her ideas of embracing the past in order to have a clear future, and her constant reminder to love yourself for who you are, Chisala proves to be a motivation for all women. While Upile doesn’t have a website she’s active on her Instagram and her books can be purchased on Amazon.