Reentry Success: Through Poetry, Novillia Shares Truth

Reentry Success: Through Poetry, Novillia Shares Truth


Last year, we shared Novillia’s story. As a young woman, she struggled with substance use, and spent years in and out of the justice system. Since then, Novillia has beaten the odds. She completed a bachelor’s degree, found sobriety, and gained employment skills through our Employment Services program. Currently a business owner, her company, A Sigh of Relief, seeks to uplift other people with justice involvement that are looking to turn around their lives.

Novillia is also an accomplished poet—while incarcerated, she wrote a number of works detailing her thoughts, emotions, and situation. “Oh God, Do You Forgive Even Me?” is a powerful piece that expresses the depths and struggles of substance use.

“I was always looking for redemption, I was looking for a reason to want to live again. Because I felt like I had messed up so bad in my life that I was fighting to live or to die. So, I wrote this poem in prison.”


Listen to the powerful poem in the video below:

Novillia hopes she can enlighten others through her creative work.

“My truth is very, very ugly but it’s the truth. And I’d rather tell an ugly truth than a beautiful lie,” she says, “And I hope that my truth can help somebody.”


At The Fortune Society, we fully support this mindset. Those in our community often share their experiences through creative writing, theater, music, visual art, and more, and find that art has both therapeutic and social impact.

Learn more about the power of our Creative Arts program, or get tickets for our annual Creative Arts Festival to see our talented community members in action.

Don’t miss stories like this—Subscribe to the Fortune Weekly today.

*Article by Carmen Rojas

Share this Event
Learn how Fortune Society can help you