In January 2015, I was the inaugural poet in residence at the Our Little Roses Orphanage in San Pedro Sula. It was not your traditional residency; I spent the month with 70 girls of all ages, all of whom were saved from abject poverty and homelessness, among worse fates. I got to know the girls and some of the other local young people from the stories they shared with me, either through quiet conversations at dinner or through their poetry, and I found myself continuously moved and inspired by them. So many of them, living in San Pedro Sula, known as “the murder capital of the world,” had started with less than nothing but were courageous and full of life. Art and writing residencies are for creating, and it’s true, I did write prolifically during this time, but my real joy came from teaching poetry and helping my students share their stories and their voices, helping them to feel heard.
Our Little Roses Home for Girls, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Interview about my residency at Our Little Roses:
Our Little Roses Student Poetry: