Upcoming Event

Bruce W. Brackett at Harvard Book Store


How To Breathe While Suffocating:
A Story of Overcoming Addiction,
Recovering from Trauma, and Healing

in conversation with IMANI VANZAP


August 5, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes BRUCE W. BRACKETT—social media personality, self-taught visual artist, and international motivational speaker—for a discussion of his new book How To Breathe While Suffocating: A Story of Overcoming Addiction, Recovering from Trauma, and Healing. He will be joined in conversation by IMANI VANZAP—social media’s number 1 Auntie!

About How To Breathe While Suffocating

How To Breathe While Suffocating is your antidote to the all-too-common tendency to surrender, giving up on your life’s ambitions. You don’t have to give up! For anyone who has gotten caught in the trap of “I can’t do it,” this book reminds you that you are enough, you possess value, and your unique ability to engage with the world can and will get you to where you want to be. Through simple positive affirmations, unflinching first-person stories, and insightful analysis, author Bruce W. Brackett helps you focus on the positive and keep moving forward.

Society today is experiencing a hidden pandemic of loneliness, disconnection, and resistance to recovery. After the life-altering shutdowns of COVID-19, many of us have simply remained in shutdown mode. This book uses universal concepts, expressed through engaging narrative, to help you grapple with issues like mental health, isolation, gender identity, disconnection, and the overwhelming sense of negativity for our collective future. By the end, you’ll learn to turn it around and get back to the business of living. The message of How to Breathe When Suffocating is simple—spread love, inhabit joy, and embrace the power of positivity.

· Gain the inspiration you need to seize your potential, find confidence, and step into your authentic self

· Change your outlook on life with simple slogans and mantras for developing a healthier, more positive attitude

· Realize that you aren’t alone in your struggle, and see how others are finding the strength to move forward in difficult times

· Read the compelling story of one man who overcame insurmountable odds and found salvation from negativity and self-doubt

After a two-decade healing journey of intensive trauma therapy, psychiatric treatment, and rehab, Bruce W. Brackett has emerged a survivor. Anyone in the midst of their own healing journey will resonate with benefit from his lived experience, portrayed here with intimate vulnerability and universal appeal.

Praise for How To Breathe While Suffocating

"Let’s be clear. Bruce is a survivor in the highest order! There’s a Buddhist saying that you can turn ‘poison into medicine’. Mr Brackett has done just that with their life. I felt like I was right there in parts of his life through the detailed writing as he painted a picture of incomprehensible poverty and mental illness and through their triumph against seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s a story hard to be believed. And yet, alive and well, Bruce stands.” —James T. Lane, Broadway Star

“Bruce Brackett delivers an authentic story filled with moments of overcoming adversity and moments of triumph. This is an inspirational read that motivates oneself to help others, to look for the possibilities, to dream big and to become your own best advocate.” —Christian Parker, Founder, Gay & Sober

"Bruce is a star that sparkles as brilliant as Alpha Centauri. Despite the odds and all the danger that he lived through-he is a survivor. BWB took control of their life that was in shambles and asked for help and got the help that he needed. Thank you BWB for being a light in our lives. His will to live and thrive is a miracle. Now remember to breathe and keep moving forward.” —Michael Alago, Author, Photographer, Music Executive

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Bruce W. Brackett
Bruce W. Brackett

Bruce W. Brackett

Bruce W. Brackett (BWB) is a social media personality, author, entrepreneur, self-taught visual artist, and international motivational speaker. Originally from southwest Montana, BWB moved to NYC at the age of 18 to pursue his dreams of being on Broadway. After many distractions, making it to Off-Broadway, and developing several addictions, meth being a big one, BWB found his true calling and his way back to sobriety through art and by advocating for recovery to his online audience of over 1.4 million people.This online community of recovery fuels BWB’s love, passion, creativity, and mission to share positivity and the possibilities of recovery.

Bruce has sold his artwork and “Negativity Be Gone” hand fans to people in all 50 of the United States and in over 14 countries. BWB now resides with his partner, Teo, and his tuxedo cat, DionE, in the Pocono Mountains as well as in New York City.

Imani Vanzap
Imani Vanzap

Imani Vanzap

What do you get when you put lightning, luxury and love in a bottle? Shake it up and out comes Imani Vanzap, social media’s number 1 Auntie!! Imani joined TikTok in February of 2021. Her unique appearance and infectious way of featuring other TikTokers in duet fashion sky-rocketed. In just a few months, Imani gained over 1,000,000 followers affectionately known as Zappienation. She has a hit song out “Optimistic” that is Number 1 onthe sales charts. She continues to spread joy, the power of jokes, advice, music and straight up FUN!! Follow Imani’s journey on all social platforms at @imanivanzap and their website www.imanivanzap.com

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.


Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

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