River 瑩瑩 Dandelion

Artist in Residence, 2024

Artist Statement

I am a practitioner of ancestral medicine through writing poetry, teaching, practicing energy healing, and creating ceremony. As a poet, I write to connect with the unseen and unspoken so we can feel and heal. My work blends the personal with the sociopolitical and reclaims erased and forgotten histories. With liberatory pedagogy central to my artistry, I also facilitate creative writing and healing workshops, where participants connect with their own inner and collective power. Central to my writing is my connection to queer and trans ancestors and descendants to come, and the belief in freer futures, embodied in the present.

While at Headlands

As a poet, I am also an ethnic studies scholar, educator, and researcher. My work highlights the intersections in oral history, archival research, organizing, and poetry. It is shaped and informed by the interpersonal impacts of these historical events in the lives of my family and ancestors. While at the Headlands, I plan to work on revisions for my debut full-length poetry manuscript, which is a collection that explores matriarchal legacies, self-remembrance, and unwritten queer and trans lineages. This body of work spans multiple generations from Toisan to New York City. My poems break through intergenerational silences to usher in greater ancestral and collective healing through storytelling.

Selected Texts

“spell for trans safety (i),” Bellingham Review, 2023. Nominated for Best of the Net (2024).

Sometimes Oral History Comes Off Recorder as Poem or, Birth Story,” Split This Rock, Poem of the Week, 2023.

“Echoes of Diaspora,” Plentitudes Journal, 2023Poetry Top Prize Winner.

Introduction,” Room Magazine, 2023.

“parrotfish tranifesto,” The Offing2021Nominated for Best of the Net (2022).

“how we survived: 爺爺’s pantoum (ii),” The Shade Journal, 2021. Finalist for THEE SPACE Poetry Prize.