KGB Bar Red Room Reading with At The Inkwell Tonight!

Devin Kelly, Carly Dashiell & Jessica Reidy (NYC)

April 12 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM EDT

Join us at the infamous KGB Bar, tucked in The Red Room, for some poetry as part of the At The Inkwell Series. Click here for more information. I’m delighted to be a part of this. Come revel in the odd compulsion to express the human condition!

Here’s the Facebook Invite!

 

 

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VIDA’s 33 Life-Changing Books for International Women’s Day in Lit Hub (guess mine!)

I’m so excited to share this Lit Hub piece that the volunteers of VIDA collaboratively concocted in honor of International Women’s Day. http://lithub.com/33-life-changing-books-in-honor-of-international-womens-day/ Read and celebrate!

Here’s mine!

roads-of-roma-coverRoads of the Roma: an Anthology of Gypsy Writers by Ian Hancock, Siobhan Dowd, Rajko Đurić, eds.

Jessica Reidy, Web Acquisitions Editor: Though I didn’t discover this book until grad school—on my own steam—it changed my life: before this anthology, I didn’t know that women like me could write. I discovered Romani writers Papusza, Luminița Mihai Cioabă, Mariella Mehr, Paola Schöpf, Margita Reiznerová, and more, which led me to writing and teaching poetry, fiction, and non-fiction about my heritage and culture.

My Political Punch poems are in Haunting Poetry

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Image by B.S. Wise

This is so cool to say– Haunting Poetry featured my two poems coming out the anthology Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity, “Transfiguration of the Black Madonna” and “Murder and Tradition,” in their haunting poetry round-up. Thank you so much for the support! I’m very touched that the good people of HP feel like I’m haunting their souls. That’s all a creepy writer wants to hear.

You can pre-order Political Punch, released by Sundress Publications, here!

Art, memory, and expression: International Holocaust Remembrance Day 1/27/2016

holocaustremembranceJanuary 27th, 2016 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We spread red flowers to honor those who lived and died in what Roma call, The Hungry Smoke. The Holocaust was an ugly genocide of those from the Jewish faith as well as those who were ethnically “Gypsies,” the racial slur used to describe Romani and Sinti people. The Sinti are a clan (or tribe, as some prefer that word while others argue that ours is not a tribal society) within the Roma, and the word Roma refers to the many different cultures and subcultures that exist within Romani society, all of which are distinct with their own dialects, customs, and beliefs. Many Sinti prefer to be called Sinti and not to be included under the Romani umbrella, but I am comfortable being referred to as Romani, both because my heritage is very ethnically mixed anyway and because I like the inclusiveness that the word “Roma” suggests. My grandmother and many of her family members survived O Porrajmos, or the Great Devouring, by hiding their ethnicity, something that many were not able to do, and others among her friends and family were not so fortunate. The Roma and Sinti are often forgotten alongside the other groups targeted, such as LGBTQ* people, people living with disabilities, Catholics, Communists, and many others. Even though half of the Romani population was obliterated during WWII, because of systemic racism, few organizations or countries recognize our loss for what it was: genocide. This is slowly changing, however. This year the UN is hosting Sinto survivor, Mr. Zoni Weisz, to speak at their event for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, so if you are in NYC or can make the trip, I hope you attend. It’s important for all of us to band together for everyone touched the the dark maw.

I’m re-sharing Drunken Boat‘s Romani Folio, an issue completely dedicated to Romani writing and art, in honor of this day. Much of Romani

Romani Folio Cover

Drunken Boat, Romani Folio cover

literature and art is shaped by The Hungry Smoke, as well as the antigypsyist legislation, sentiment, and violence that still dogs the Roma all over the world. My short story, “Why the Pyres are Unlit,” though fictional, was heavily inspired by my grandmother’s survival, the stories she’s shared, and the mark that violence has left on my family.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about inherited and perpetuated trauma (by lately, I mean since I was a child), and I believe that the only way to change cycles of violence and fear internalized passed down through generations is to acknowledge, feel, discuss, and then release them. Silence, forced or self-imposed, is what breeds violence. Art, writing, expression, discourse, and remembrance– all of this frees us. I will spread flowers, but I will also imbibe Romani and Sinti literature and art, such as the paintings of Ceija Stojka and the words of Rajko Djuric. Pick up a good anthology (I love this one, Roads of the Roma) or browse the web for new discoveries. You can start with Romani writer Qristina Zavačková Cummings and her list of Romani authors, or my list of “20 Gypsy Women You Should Be Reading” for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. May we remember, may we create, and may we journey toward healing and liberation together.

 

Jessica Reidy & Rosebud Ben-Oni reading for Poor Mouth Poetry 11/11

An Beal Bocht

An Beal Bocht

I’m so excited to be reading alongside Rosebud Ben-Oni for Poor Mouth Poetry at An Beal Bocht in the Bronx, and you can read with us! There’s an open mic sign-up after our reading, first-come, first-serve. So whether you want to kick-back and listen to some poems, or get up on stage yourself, we would really love to see you there. The event starts at 8 PM on Wednesday November 11th.

Bios~

Born to a Mexican mother and Jewish father, Rosebud Ben-Oni is a recipient of the 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and a CantoMundo Fellow. She was a Rackham Merit Fellow at the University of Michigan, a Horace Goldsmith Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a graduate of the Women’s Work Lab at New Perspectives Theater in NYC. She is the author of SOLECISM (Virtual Artists Collective, 2013) and an Editorial Advisor for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her work appears in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Arts & Letters, Bayou, Puerto del Sol, among others. She blogs at The Kenyon Review. Find her Facebook, Twitter and at 7TrainLove.org

Jessica Reidy worked on her MFA in Fiction at Florida State University and holds a B.A. from Hollins University. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and has appeared in Narrative Magazine as Short Story of the Week, The Los Angeles Review, The Missouri Review, and other journals. She’s Managing Editor for VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, Art Editor for The Southeast Review, Visiting Professor for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop retreats, Outreach Editor for Quail Bell Magazine, and works as an adjunct professor and a freelance editor and writer. She also teaches yoga and works her Romani (Gypsy) family trades, fortune telling, energy healing, and dancing. Jessica is currently writing her first novel set in post-WWII Paris about Coco Charbonneau, the half-Romani burlesque dancer and fortune teller of Zenith Circus, who becomes a Nazi hunter. Visit her online atwww.jessicareidy.com.

I’m reading at the New York City Poetry Festival for Quail Bell Magazine, July 25th at 2:30 PM

I’m absolutely delighted to read for Quail Bell Magazine at the New York City Poetry Festival. Check out our Facebook event and come join us if you can. We’d be so honored by your presence. Put on a shawl and your best, smug writer-face and just kick back into the weird and imaginative quailings. I’ll be reading trauma poetry and poetry grown out of the Romani (Gypsy) tradition, and it feels especially cool to be reading on my 29th birthday. There’s a metaphor in there. Don’t feel like figuring out for what. What am I, a poet? Pssh.
jessreading

Last chance to join me in France for yoga & writing! I’ll be at the Château.

Quail Bell Magazine was so sweet to make this announcement that I’m teaching writing workshops this summer in France on the Yoga & Writing Retreat at the Château de Verderonne, France (Aug 7-20, 2014. I’m so honored to be teaching alongside Cambridge Writers’ Workshop superstars Elissa Joi Lewis, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai (recently one of VIDA’s “20 Gypsy Women You Should Be Reading”). They are all so talented, smart, and divinely sweet. And I’m wildly excited that I’m teaching “Yearning & Character Motivation” and “Magic & Trauma– Writing from the Unconscious,” and there are a bunch more awesome writing workshops on the schedule including writing workshops, craft talks, art classes, adventures to Paris & Chantilly, and yoga twice a day. In France. A couple of spots have opened so apply ASAP or by July 15th.

Enjoying yoga with magnificent Elissa Joi Lewis. I'm the one, all in black, lounging beside the thousand year old moat.

Enjoying yoga with magnificent Elissa Joi Lewis. I’m the one, all in black, lounging beside the thousand year old moat. Image Source: Quail Bell Magazine