Las Abuelas Cuentan

January | 2023

Sussy-muertos-event-2023 Photo by Oliver "Syde-Sho" Arias

Sussy Santana

I’m thrilled to be RILA 2023 Poet-in-Residence. During my residency I will be working on Las Abuelas Cuentan, a bilingual, multigenerational, oral history project focusing on the personal narratives of our community elders. In the context of a global pandemic, it felt more necessary than ever to honor the wisdom of our grandparents. I wanted to reflect on what they consider essential, how they view legacy, and what experiences have shaped them into who they are.

For this project, I specifically wanted to work with Marta Martínez, because of her background as an oral historian and archivist of Latino histories. Marta has become a mentor and friend; I am excited to develop this work alongside her.

I will continue to host Café Recuerdos on the third Thursday of each month! Café Recuerdos is a space for storytelling with community members. We meet to tell stories under a specific theme and the rest is just fun, heartwarming conversation. I hope you will join us! (FREE: Register here)

Lastly, I will be hosting a series of writing workshops inspired by the stories from our elders. Newer generations will get to reflect on their thoughts and write poems in response. This will become a multigenerational “poemario/journal” for our community to enjoy. This particular series will be divided in two groups, group 1 (April-June) group 2 (Sept-Nov). We will meet once a month. In order to have your poem included in this journal you have to participate in at least 5 sessions. Sign up opens soon!

Thank you for reading,
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