We’re currently in the midst of week two of our second session and so far our campers have been thriving! As our slayers are busy creating literary works of art, we thought we’d (re) introduce our second instructor for this session, long-time Miamian and writer, Miguel Pichardo. Pichardo is an MFA candidate at Florida International University, where he specializes in work that experiments with elements of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. This is his second year teaching with PageSlayers, and he’s excited to see what our students have in store this time around.
What kind of work do you do? What are you working on right now?
Aside from working on completing my Master of Fine Arts degree, I work as a youth mentor with South Florida CARES. This non-profit teaches wellness and coping skills to our community's most underserved children.
This is your second year as an instructor. What are you looking forward to most in your time with PageSlayers?
I'm excited about all the wonderful work our students will produce. It's always such a nice surprise when the kids express themselves on the page and show more of who they are and [who they] want to be.
What lesson are you most excited to share with the campers?
I'm excited to expose students to more experimental forms of poetry. Maybe they've never heard of a “found poem” or an “erasure poem,” but it will be so much fun to introduce these forms to them and have them create their own [versions].
Why do you think it is important for students in Miami to be exposed to art and creative writing at a young age?
Being a kid can be a confusing time, and I feel that creative writing helps shed light on all the chaos of growing up. When kids learn to express themselves early on, they can continue to do so [in the future], no matter what passions they follow, and they will do so as their full authentic selves.
Where can we read some of your work?
My poetry and prose can be found in publications such as Duende, Literary Orphans, Fjords Review, and Luna Luna.