Sandra García Rivera

Artist in Residence, 2015

Artist Statement

Poems spill from my desk and files, all over my apartment floor, demanding attention. My poems and stories are personal, and include the voices of women. These verses, moments, experiences pop from the page to exorcise ghosts, and purge the residue of sexism and colonialism, embedded under the skin. A Nuyorican poet and cultural worker, I found my voice in the Bay Area, a hub of social activism. An artist on a hustle, I teach creative writing, host a monthly literary series, and I sing and play with Latin/Caribbean roots music ensembles. These occupations allow me to exercise my artistic skills, and to work as an artist in the service of community empowerment. Collaboration and exchange fuel my creativity. Live performance and oral expression enliven the music of the word with sound and vibration, to extend the life of the verse from the page to the stage.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands, I will retreat from the daily grind and complete a full-length manuscript of poetry, already in-progress. I look forward to spreading out in my studio near the ocean to write new poems, revise existing drafts, and order a collection that reflects my meticulous attention to the printed word, passion for the spoken word, and the aesthetics and musicality of my Nuyorican / Caribbean roots. I am exploring choreo and prose poems, to develop a narrative thread between poems. My goal is to complete the manuscript for publication by a literary press.

While at Headlands, I will also work with local Bay Area musicians of Latin music to arrange music and explore technology, for a spoken work EP that can accompany the publication, and/or develop a project that incorporates the audio recording with a book-art project, featuring artist collaborators in New York.