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Poetry Writing Capsules

Split This Rock's Poetry Writing Capsules are small containers for holding big ideas, inspiration, and guidance from poets writing through a variety of topics and forms. Each video in the series is a self-paced exploration that offers writing prompts, poems, and more. We encourage you to share these poetry writing capsules with your community, classroom, writing groups, and others. All capsules are free, captioned, recorded with ASL interpreters, and have a link to a document formatted for screen-readers with supporting materials in the YouTube video description. 

Have you tuned in to a Poetry Writing Capsule? Send an email to info@splitthisrock.org and tell us about your experience! We welcome reflections and feedback on your experience with one video or the whole series. Your feedback helps us design future virtual offerings. 

NEW! Defiance & Freedom: Rebellion through Transformation with Justice Ameer

 

 

Race and gender expose many of us to vilified expectations and normalized threats of violence. In this Poetry Writing Capsule, Justice Ameer explores how writers June Jordan and Imani Davis rebel into and against this violence through defiance and metamorphosis. 

Justice Ameer is a poet and facilitator based in Providence, RI. Xyr writing explores the experience of being a Black woman in an apocalyptic America, and refracts queer fluidity through desire, history, and relationship with nature. Xe was an Artist-in-Residence at Williams College in Spring 2020. Xe is a Pink Door Fellow and previous faculty member. Ameer is a co-creator of the theatrical production ANTHEM at American Repertory Theater’s OBERON. Xyr work can be found in Poetry magazine, Split This Rock’s The Quarry, The Nation, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic anthology, and various other publications.

Image Description of Graphic: On the left, Split This Rock's red logo appears with bold white text beneath that reads: “[Split This Rock] presents Defiance and Freedom: Rebellion Through Transformation with Justice Ameer.” On the right is a photo of Justice Ameer, wearing a red-striped shirt dress and standing against a tan backdrop while tilting xyr head to the right with xyr eyes closed and holding xyr braids in xyr right hand. Photo of Justice Ameer by Ally Schmaling. The graphic has a red boarder and a large red play button appears in the center over the image.

 

Rituals for Home with Naomi Ortiz

In this poetry writing capsule, Naomi Ortiz leads listeners and viewers in redefining generalizations and exploring how they might reveal themselves to us in a different way. In the second writing prompt, Ortiz guides listeners and viewers in locating their own feeling of home. 

Naomi Ortiz (they/she) explores the cultivation of care and connection within states of stress. Reimagining our relationship with land and challenging who is an environmentalist in the Arizona U.S./Mexico borderlands is investigated in their new collection, Rituals for Climate Change: A Crip Struggle for Ecojustice (punctum books). Their non-fiction book Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice (Reclamation Press) provides informative tools and insightful strategies for diverse communities on addressing burnout. As a 2022 Disability Futures Fellow and a Reclaiming the US/Mexico Border Narrative Grant Awardee, they emphasize interdependence and spiritual growth through their poetry, writing, facilitation, and visual art. Learn more at Naomi's website.

Image Description of YouTube Graphic: On the left, Split This Rock's red logo appears with bold white text beneath that reads: [Split This Rock] presents Rituals for Home with Naomi Ortiz. A Poetry Writing Capsule." On the right is a photo of Naomi Ortiz, a light-skinned Mestize with dark hair, silver hoop earrings, burgundy lipstick, and a black sweater with a white star. Naomi sits in their scooter smiling and surrounded by golden creosote bushes. Photo of Naomi Ortiz by Rachel Marie Photography. The graphic has a red boarder and a large red play button appears in the center over the image.

 

Joys in Deviation: Neurodivergent Poetry with heidi andrea restrepo rhodes

If, as the disability justice movement suggests, we all exist in a diversity of bodies/minds, how can poetry help us explore and express the unique ways we each deviate from the norm? heidi andrea restrepo rhodes reads poems by neurodivergent poets J. Michael Martinez and Khadijah Queen. In each poem, these poets refuse the ableism shaping their experience and stun us with the complex beauty their neurodivergence brings to their lives. heidi then offers a writing prompt that acknowledges that ableism presses us all into the narrow, and guides listeners and viewers in exploring the joy in their own unique existence. 

heidi andrea restrepo rhodes (they/them) are a queer, sick/disabled, brown/Colombian, writer, scholar, educator, and cultural worker. Their poetry collection, The Inheritance of Haunting (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019), won the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Their chapbook, Ephemeral, is the 2022 winner of the Lorca Latinx Poetry Prize and will be published by EcoTheo Collective in 2023. They are a 2023 recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a VONA Alum, and have received poetry fellowships from Zoeglossia, CantoMundo, Radar, and Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration. Their poetry and creative non-fiction have been published in American Poetry Review, The Normal School, Poetry, and Waxwing, among other places. They currently live in California.

Image Description of YouTube Graphic: On the left, Split This Rock's red logo appears with bold white text beneath that reads: [Split This Rock] presents Joys in Deviation: Neurodivergent Poetry with heidi andrea restrepo rhodes. A Poetry Writing Capsule." On the right is a black and white photo of heidi andrea restrepo rhodes wearing a white button-up shirt, hoop earrings, a septum piercing and nose ring, and long, dark hair, standing against a plain white wall. The graphic has a red boarder and a large red play button appears in the center over the image.

 

Poetry & Grief: Reading & Responding to Artifacts of Loss with Danielle Badra

 

This poetry writing capsule investigates the ways in which poetry allows us to grieve by opening up a pathway or channel to communicate with our lost ones. Danielle Badra explores examples of dialogues with the dead and shares writing prompts that use written or spoken artifacts to reconnect with those who have passed. Given the themes and realities this poetry writing capsule addresses, we extend care towards you as you choose if, when, and how to engage with it. Tune in to Danielle's Poetry Writing Capsule at Split This Rock's YouTube Channel.

Danielle Badra (she/they) is a queer Arab-American poet who was raised in Michigan and currently resides in Virginia. Her poems have appeared in Mizna, Poetry Daily, Guesthouse, Cincinnati Review, Duende, The Greensboro Review, Rabbit Catastrophe Press, Split This Rock's The Quarry, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. Dialogue with the Dead (Finishing Line Press, 2015) is her first chapbook, a collection of contrapuntal poems in dialogue with her deceased sister. Her manuscript, Like We Still Speak, was selected by Fady Joudah and Hayan Charara as the winner of the 2021 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize and published through the University of Arkansas Press in Fall 2021. Photo of Danielle Badra in YouTube thumbnail graphic by Holly Mason Badra.

Image Description of YouTube Graphic: On the left, Split This Rock's red logo appears with bold white text beneath that reads: "[Split This Rock] presents Poetry & Grief: Reading & Responding to Artifacts of Loss with Danielle Badra. A Poetry Writing Capsule." On the right is a photo of Danielle Badra, a tan woman with dark, short brown hair and dangly silver earrings standing in front of a red brick wall. Danielle wears a red coral necklace and a green button up t-shirt with black diamonds on it. There is a tattoo peeking out of the bottom of one of the shirt sleeves. The graphic has a red boarder and a large red play button appears in the center over the image.
 

Poetry & Grief: Severance and Rupture in Relationships with Malik Thompson

 

Given that severance and rupture in intimate relationships are a widespread experience, how can poetry serve as a beacon and balm? Malik Thompson reads and discusses poems by Audre Lorde and Donika Kelly. He also shares a writing prompt to help write toward those we are no longer in relationship with, honor the past, acknowledge any bitter/sweetness in the present, and move us toward closure. Given the themes and realities this poetry writing capsule addresses, we extend care towards you as you choose if, when, and how to engage with it. Watch Malik's Poetry Writing Capsule at Split This Rock's YouTube Channel.

Malik Thompson (he/him) is a Black queer man from Washington, DC. He works as a manager for Black, Asian, and queer-owned Loyalty Bookstores in Petworth, DC, and served for two years as co-chair of OutWrite DC, an annual LGBTQ+ literary festival. Malik has received support from Lambda Literary, Obsidian Foundation, and the DC Commision on the Arts and Humanities, among other organizations, and his poems are featured in Split This Rock’s The Quarry, MQR Mixtape, and Voicemail Poems, among other publications. Find Malik on Instagram at @latesummerstar. Photo of Malik Thompson in YouTube thumbnail graphic by Beth Stover.

Image Description of YouTube Graphic: On the left, Split This Rock's red logo appears with bold white text beneath that reads: "[Split This Rock] presents Poetry & Grief: Severance and Rupture in Relationships with Malik Thompson. A Poetry Writing Capsule." On the right is a photo of Malik Thompson, a brown-skinned Black person with glasses,  sitting in an outdoor area with lush-leaved trees behind him. He is wearing a grey pashmina scarf, a yellow beanie, and a darker yellow corduroy jacket. Malik is looking into the camera with a faint smile and in front of him, on a table, is an open binder with text on the pages. The graphic has a red boarder and a large red play button appears in the center over the image.