Editors note: This is the sole response to the “Buildings” prompt.
In this room
In this room
the center of my gravity.
it was a long hot summer night in the South Bronx.
The clay holding my foundation,
In this room
My first night in New York.
Looking out the window into a brick wall.
My island augmented in my soul.
Eating mangoes on the side walk in front of abuela’s home.
Crowding my mass,
in my point,
Somewhere in that room,
my center of gravity.
By Yolanda Luz Rodríguez
About The Author…
Yolanda L. Rodriguez was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico but grew up in the small town of Maunabo. At the age of 15 her family moved to Humacao where they still reside. In 1997 she decided to move to the city of New York after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus. She has been a resident of the Bronx ever since. She has a Master’s Degree in Education with a Bilingual Extension from Hunter College, CUNY. She is an experienced educator and is very passionate about teaching Spanish Language Arts. She was also a very active committee member of NYSABE (New York State Association for Bilingual Education). During her time with NYSABE she planned, organized and manage state wide conferences and local events for the Bilingual Education community in New York State. She has been writing poetry, reflections and short stories since 1997 and in 2011 began to publish some of her work on her website www.thesoundsofmialma.com. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director for BxArts Factory. The mission of this non-profit organization is to make art accessible to everyone in the Bronx. The Factory’s Programs support local artists and arts projects to increase social change in the local community. The BxArts Factory sponsors regular art exhibitions at venues in the Bronx, organizes programs and networking events for artists, develops emerging artists through workshops and educational programs, collaborates with other organizations and local businesses to strengthen ties to the community and increases community engagement with art through workshops, street fairs, and other events. For more information please visit their website at www.bxartsfactory.org or follow us on social media @BxArtsFactory
The School of Poetic Arts (#LaSoPANYC) is an educational workshop series from Capicu Culture that provides a communal space dedicated to the development of artistic skill and exploring the core principles of theatrical and literary expression. Join us as the first official class of our Artist residency at The Loisaida Center, Inc! As artists and scholars from historically marginalized communities, we feel that it is important to create opportunities for our stories to be seen, read, and heard. La Sopa provides a platform for those voices to be supported and uplifted, increasing the proliferation of creative works across the artistic spectrum. Our time together, generating and editing works, launching new ideas and projects, is an inspirational way to end each week and begin anew. We look forward to the return of our previous participants, as well as the addition of new voices that will enrich the experience.