Aracelis Girmay on Writing Your Story

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“I wanted to hear the histories that were not taught to me in books, I wanted to know what I didn’t know.” In this 826NYC video, Aracelis Girmay speaks about how reading and hearing her family’s stories inspired her to become a poet. A Q&A with Girmay on becoming the first editor-at-large of BOA Editions’ line of poetry books written by women of color appears in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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For Estefani

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“Elephant on an orange line, underneath a yellow circle / meaning sun. / 6 green, vertical lines, with color all from the top / meaning flowers.” In this animated short film for the TED-Ed “There’s a Poem for That” series, Aracelis Girmay reads her poem “For Estefani Lora, Third Grade, Who Made Me a Card” from her collection Teeth (Curbstone Press, 2007).

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Aracelis Girmay

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“Maybe he will be the boy who studies stars. / Maybe he will be (say it) / the boy on the coroner's table / splayed & spangled / by an officer's lead as if he, too, weren't made / of a trillion glorious cells & sentences. Trying to last.” Aracelis Girmay reads an excerpt from her new collection, The Black Maria (BOA Editions, 2016), at the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival.

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Aracelis Girmay

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"Whole years will be spent, underneath these impossible stars / when dirt's the only animal who will sleep with you..." Aracelis Girmay reads her poem, "Kingdom Animalia," for the Page Meets Stage reading series in 2013. Her new poetry collection, The Black Maria (BOA Editions, 2016), is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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