It’s hard to believe that Session One is almost over!
In three weeks we’ve experimented with writing to pen pals, zine making, and “A” poetry with the help of our talented visiting artists Elia Khalaf and Roger Reeves. This week, we were joined by Becca Medvin, our last visiting artists for Session One. Medvin is a Yoga and Meditation instructor who has been practicing for 11 years. She studied literature at the University of California Berkeley, where she developed a passion for writing. Medvin sees yoga and writing as intertwined—with each pose overflowing into metaphor. She will be moving to New Hampshire in the fall to pursue her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire. Below, you can find a Q&A with Medvin, where she explains her view on the intersection between poetry and yoga, plus pics from our yoga + poetry with PageSlayers!
What kind of work do you do? What are you working on right now? I write poetry that explores what is invisible, irrational, and uncertain. My poems attempt to integrate these aspects of myself and the world into a wholeness that can hold it all. I'm currently working on writing more poems to eventually publish a book. I'm also preparing to move up north to begin my MFA in creative writing at the University of New Hampshire.
What are you most looking forward to in your time with PageSlayers? Yoga, meditation, and writing offer us life-changing tools. It is a gift to be able to share these tools with the PageSlayers students.
What topics will you be focusing on during your time with PageSlayers? Why? My personal yoga and meditation practices are not separate from my writing. My yoga practice helps me tap into my heart and then I write from that space. I try not to over-analyze my words and I let them spill out of my heart in a stream-of-consciousness flow. I edit afterwards, but I find that my poems need to be written in this way for them to really be cathartic and feel alive. I want my poems to have a heartbeat. So the class will focus on tapping into the heart center and then writing from that space.
How does yoga effect poetry and vice versa? The questions I explore in my writing become lived experiences in my yoga practice. Everything in yoga is a metaphor! I love to share my insights with my students and guide them through their own discoveries. Yoga, meditation, and writing have all taught me that every moment is a choice, that I can transform myself if I am willing to see beyond my self-defeating thoughts, if I am willing to listen more deeply, to expand from the inside out.
What lesson are you most excited to share with the campers? Too often in my life I have been held back by my perfectionism. I allowed fear to keep me small, to mute me. Over the years I've learned how to walk into fear and allow things to sometimes be uncomfortable. I've also learned that I must allow myself to make as many mistakes as I need to without self-judgement. Mistakes are a necessary part of the journey. All of these modalities are called practices for a reason. When we take ourselves (or our writing) too seriously, we miss out on all the fun.
Why do you think it is important for students in Miami to be exposed to art, yoga, and creative writing at a young age? Creative expression of any kind helps us move through our emotions, embrace our joy, and open to the freedom that is available when we attempt what is uncertain. Art, yoga, and creative writing allow us to see ourselves more clearly and understand that our life itself is of our own creation.
Where can students and parents find your work? Below!
The touch of things—
carried dust of fallen trees—
as if the senses you have lost
belong to me now.
In sideways trunks—
I am emptied
space to fill the roots with you,
settled dust leaves traces
you are every bird
however senseless it may seem.
I am filled with your loss,
your velvet cups.
I am filled by your quarter-lived life.
I am fissured—I am bigger—
I am stiller—I am softer—
I am slower to speak and quicker
to hear: a sense you've lost is mine now.