Year of Residency: 2020
Ursinus College, Psychology (Bachelors of Science), English Literature (Bachelors of Arts)
Brooklyn College, English Education (Masters of Education)
Ursinus Poetry Prize „Strikes“, 2015
Conferences & Workshops
Bread Loaf Writers Conference, 2019
Yale Writers Workshop, 2019
Faded-Out, “The Foreigner”, 2018
Maudlin House Press, “An Hour to the Show“, Poem, 2018
Anti-Heroin Chic, “Days”, 2018
X-R-A-Y, “Bangkok”, 2018
Briars Lit, “Mouth”, 2018
Expat Press, “Kings of Salsa”, 2018
Hunger Journal, “The Patient’s Lover”, 2018
Foglifter, “Portrait of a Class”, 2018
Graviton, “The Specious Present”, Poem, 2019
Songs For Self-Care, “Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall”, Album Poem, 2019
The Nervous Breakdown, “Hungover in San Diego”, 2020
Southeast Review, 2020
I come from two entirely different cultures, Colombia, South America and Switzerland, Europe. It’s no surprise that growing up between countries all my work has been dedicated to understanding voice, particularly in today’s landscape of social media and cultural tension.
I believe in the incoming generation, and in narrative’s evolving art form. As a teacher, one of my greatest joys has been helping children discover the multitude of ways to express themselves. While traditionally trained in prose, I find myself drawn to poetic elements: juxtaposition, white space, nonlinearity and mixed perspective. At an interview I attended last November, author Carmen Machado described her structurally-resistant, genre-fusing memoir as “basically a scatter plot with little bits of data, and somewhere there’s a through-line…I didn‘t know the shape, but I saw all the angles.”
My poems tell stories, but they emphasize voice over logic, following an emotional trajectory instead of a chronological one. This kind of work asks the reader how and where do we draw connection – what is the reasoning behind what suddenly springs to mind, and what follows? How is emotion honed in chaos?
I find that telling stories becomes most rich when it is told from a poem, because a poem has more freedom. There are no rules, no punctuation or structural limitations. This, to me, most accurately represents the jumble of our thoughts, and what happens when one moment triggers another. I‘m interested in the connection between moments and memory, how we process and collapse different experiences. My current collection focuses on the effects of place on self and how we are shaped by what is around us.
I’ve been a part of local collective Greenpoint Writers Group (GWG), for the past four years. While grateful for this community, I look to Belgrade Art Studio to further my practice. I hope to expose myself to challenging, diverse work and a genuine community, committed to expressing today‘s complex perspectives. I plan on completing the second half this collection, and incorporating fresh inspiration from discussion, art around me in the studio, and Belgrade itself. I am looking to deepen the themes of time and place across mediums, in a city rich with history and art.
I consider poetry a kind of window. My current project explores the relationship of place and self. The following collection submitted as a sample to Belgrade Art studio collects different windows into California, tracing the self as it journeys across the landscape. Within that particular collection, I pay close attention to how relationships unfold against certain backgrounds, and impress themselves on the speaker. We are, inevitably, shaped by the environments we inhabit.
I hope to continue this series, Setting on Self, in Belgrade. I want to explore how we see ourselves within the context of a space, looking to the drastically different world of Belgrade. I aim to continue playing with white space, juxtaposition, and text stylization to contribute to meaning and most accurately depict the self summoned from this particular setting.
Isabellas ig: perpetual_chikenshit