Kristina is the author of She Lives Here, her debut collection of poetry and prose, and What I Love About You: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Proposal and Vows.


Kristina Hamlett’s debut collection of poetry and prose, She Lives Here, moves toward a jubilant celebration of womanhood, Blackness, strength, and finding your own kind of joy.

Writing the narrative of one’s life is not always easy, especially when faced with racism, sexism, and religious dogmatism, but as she moves as a young girl from a Haitian community in Queens to Virginia, Kristina throws out the rules that try to dictate her life story and rewrites her narrative.

Each section of this collection is juicy and lush with memory, ancestry, mangoes, avocados, dance, and love.


This book is like a poetry collection as a memoir, and a recollection as manifesto. Hamlett is a gifted writer of the senses – these pieces are alive with sound and texture and smell. (Her writing about food is out of this world.) She conjures early years in Queens, growing up a Black girl in the 80s and 90s, and her current life which includes competing as a Strong Woman and working with folks

leaving the prison system (from two of my favorite pieces “Athlete Ready?” and “The Island Answer”). What struck me the most reading this collection is the way joy is shored up alongside grief. There’s a clear-eyed look at the intersections of racism and sexism, which she pulls no punches about — and yet the poems are filled with an embodied joy, and tenacity for life.
—Elizabeth Ferris


What I Love About You: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Proposal and Vows is an e-book journal composed of 15 writing prompts with accompanying quotes and questions.

This book is designed for you to reflect on your journey with your future bride or groom. It covers everything from how you met to examining what marriage means to you.

By your last entry in the journal, you should feel prepared to confidently craft your proposal or writing the vows you were always meant to keep.


What I Love About You: Kristina Hamlett’s book helps couples find their words.

Local author Kristina Hamlett was inspired to create “What I Love About You: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Proposal and Vows” after she attended multiple friends’ weddings in close succession.

“I found myself sitting in the church pew or courtyard, thinking, ‘I wish I could hear more of their story,’ she says. “The officiants’ words were nice, but there’s something about hearing their story in their words that would have, in my mind, elevated the experience, allowed us to see the special, heartfelt sentiment.”

Hamlett’s ebook allows couples to print individual pages, so each can recall and reflect on their first meeting, early courtship and when they new each other was “the one.”

“The origin story can inform the vows,” she says, noting that wedding guests aren’t interested in awkward details, rambling stories, or cliches.

“People may not remember everything you say, just a word or two,” she says. “But this is almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be as big as you like, to profess your love as loudly and passionately as you want.

Interview with Richmond Bride — June 2021