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S. N. Benenhaley, a Conversation with Saturn

Author S. N. Benenhaley wants readers to take a few things away from their debut collection, Saturn and Their Rings. “First, you aren’t alone in this universe. It might seem big and vast, but it’s overcrowded too. Second, it is okay to rediscover yourself later in life. There is no set linear timeline to find who you truly are. Lastly, you are more than what you think. We are all very complex beings with interests, careers, characteristics, and lives. Don’t let the world tell you what you are. Don’t let them put you in a ‘one size fits all box.”

“I am more than just my dainty little rings that you coined this nickname after.”

– an excerpt from S. N. Benenhaley’s, Saturn and Their Rings

Benenhaley first started writing poetry when they were in middle school during English class. “Our teachers gave us the ability to write freely and I absolutely loved that, so I started doing it in my free time”. They shared with us that they still have their old diaries and journals and often look back at them for inspiration.

When asked about the most difficult part of writing the collection, they stated, “The most difficult part of writing this collection was most likely the countless hours of research spent and trying to make it flow in the poems, while also making the entire collection cohesive. This is probably the hardest I have ever worked on poetry, but I have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the planet and myself.”

Benenhaley’s work shows the comparisons of their mind’s inner workings to that of the planet Saturn. When asked what made them first decide to relate these two in their work, they said:

“During December 2020, humanity got to experience the Saturn and Jupiter Conjunction, which means that the two planets were very close in the sky. Essentially, creating what seemed to be like a huge star. Everyone was so fascinated watching these two interact in the sky, and then once they separated, that was it. People weren’t interested anymore. They moved on so quickly, talking about how it wouldn’t happen again for another 20 or so more years.”

“A part of me became angry at the sudden interest in the planets, and even angrier when all of that disappeared once it was over. I have always really loved the planet Saturn since I learned about it in elementary school. I found it absolutely fascinating that it could technically float in water. Many years later, I decided to go by ‘Saturn Nicole’ on some social media pages as an alias. I relate to the planet in so many ways.”

“Saturn is one of those planets that seems to be in second place constantly considering other planets unless you mention its rings. A part of me has felt this throughout my life: never feeling good enough, always known for one thing over another, etc. I am more than just my ‘rings;’ I am more than just the trauma I have endured. I am more than just my degrees.”

“I am an artist, writer, musician, and so much more.”

The metaphorical comparisons and open emotions are the backbone of Benenhaley’s debut collection. Each poem offers a new look at both Saturn and the journey of self that the author goes through.

“Admire my cloud bands, my superstorms, my moons, and all.”

– an excerpt from S. N. Benenhaley’s, Saturn and Their Rings

Benenhaley let us know that they have several projects that they have in the making currently. “I have a couple of poetry collections anxiously waiting for their time to shine, but I even have ideas for young adult novels and children’s books in the future.”

But we don't have to worry about the fate of this collection, as they sum up nicely, “this isn’t the last you’ll hear from Saturn…”

As the reader enters Benenhaleys’s planet with each poem, they are taken on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

“I promise I am worth the expedition.”

– an excerpt from S. N. Benenhaley’s, Saturn and Their Rings

Saturn and Their Rings will be published in October 2021 by Nymeria Publishing and will be available for preorder starting September 10th. You can visit and follow @nymeriapublishing on social media for updates about Saturn’s release.

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