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Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement and The Muse

is an Anthology of Women Writers is a collection that honors the body as storyteller, soothsayer, and living legacy. Led by award winning poet Peggy Robles- Alvarado and inspired by the ancient teachings of the Taino, Lukumi and Palo traditions, these women pulled at complex histories, challenged misnomers, and made connections to their muses through body and spirit. The result is a passionate collection of poetry that celebrates the magic of self- discovery, forgiveness and healing in the name of joy.

Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement, and The Muse is made possible by Robleswrites Productions and supported in part by a Bronx Community Artist Grant awarded by Spaceworks. The Spaceworks Bronx Community Artist Grant program is made possible through support from The New York Community Trust. Additional support was provided by BxArts Factory and The Bronx Library Center. Commissioned cover art for this project was created by Nia Andino.

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Peggy Robles-Alvarado

Is a resilient tenured New York City educator, a CantoMundo, Academy for Teachers and Home School Fellow as well as a two time International Latino Book Award winner and author of Conversations With My Skin and Homenaje A Las Guerreras/Homage to the Warrior Women. As an initiate in the Lukumi and Palo spiritual systems, Peggy uses her experiences and her incredible rhythmic energy to challenge social taboos, celebrate womanhood and honor cultural traditions. She is a 2014 BRIO performance poet award winner and in 2016 she was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women of the Bronx, a BCA Arts Fund and Spaceworks Bronx Community Artist grant recipient. 

Peggy has been published in 92Y’s #wordswelivein, NACLA, The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, and The Bronx Memoir Project. She has been featured on HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Poets and Writers Connecting Cultures Reading, and The BADD!ASS Women Festival. Peggy is continuously creating and supporting literary events through Robleswrites Productions and is currently pursuing her MFA in Performance and Performance Studies at Pratt Institute. Her latest book The Abuela Stories Project, an anthology of women writers, debuted December 8, 2016 at The Bronx Museum of the Arts. For more information please visit Robleswrites.com.

Vanessa Chica - Stage Manager

Vanessa Chica is a New York City Educator, Writer and Performance Poet. A lover and supporter of all things creative. Vanessa Chica has featured at various events such as The Smokin Word, Urban Juke Joint, Capicu, Word@4F, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe and The Bronx Museum. She has performed At The National Black theatre in poetic theatrical shows " From the Page to the Stage", "Misconceptions" and Misconceptions too" produced in part by The Sunday Writing Circle/The Full Circle Ensemble. She was a panelist for " Mujeres at the Mic" bringing the Nuyorican experience to The Association of Writers and Writing Conferences held in Los Angeles in 2016. She is currently working on a 3 woman show titled "Live Big Girl" and serving as stage manager for the production "Mujeres the Magic, The Movement and The Muse". Vanessa Chica believes there is strength in vulnerability and she is becoming stronger every day. For more info visit Vanessachica.com

participating women writers

Aurora J. "AJ" De Peña is a 35 year old hugger who loves to write; or a writer who loves to hug- depends who you ask. AJ has performed and featured at several open mics in New York including The Poets Settlement, Smokin’ Word Open Mic Series, Sugarhill Beats, Soul House, Queens Lit Crawl, Tantalizing Angel Productions, and at The Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. As a member of the Full Circle Ensemble she has been featured in the Full Circle Ensemble’s Stage Productions "Page to the Stage", “Misconceptions”, “Misconceptions Too" and "Page 2: Standing in your Truth" at the National Black Theatre and was published in their anthology. For more information email her at aurdep@gmail.com.

Tina B. Marie is a writer who after many life diversions is trying to find her way back to her foundation. She contributes to a weekly ezine at Sonder.NYC and will soon contribute to RoaringGold.com. She hopes to soon release a chapbook she has laid to the side for too long. She would love to participate in as many performances as possible, as she has only ever attended slams and open mics at the Nuyorican Poets Café and the Poets Passage in Puerto Rico. She hopes to have an official website one day, but for now can be found on most social networks under her handle @TinaBmarie.

Jossie Ortiz is an Afro-Latinx queer poet and published author with ELKAT Productions who writes about raw topics in a story based format that cites personal situations dealing with social injustices, spirituality, mental illness, love and heartache. As an alumni of The Full Circle Ensemble, she is currently working on a compilation of poems for an upcoming chapbook and a One-Wo(man)-show. She is also in the process of editing a book titled "Dear Taueret - These are not our love poems”, a collection of poems and personal essays depicting her first romantic encounter. Jossie has been featured at events produced by The Full Circle Ensemble at The National Black Theatre, ELKAT productions, JesPeachy, Gun Hill's Brewery: Performance & Pint and LatinosNYC at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She is always in gratitude for the support, teachings, and friendship of her peers, mentors and the community she is proud to be part of.

Nia Andino is a visual artist and writer originally hailing from Queens, NY. Raised with the culture of Caribbean stories in her home, she is drawn to elements of visual and verbal expression that reflect her Latin/Caribbean roots, and the beauty and condition of the human soul. Nia holds a BFA in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design. Her art has been collected and shown at several galleries in New York, New Jersey and California including Pier 94, Aeon Logic, Abrazo Interno, Port Authority Terminal, Rio II, miLES, Center City, Rebelution Ink, The Brecht Forum and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. Nia has also assisted in facilitating mural and art workshops taking place at the South Bronx Community High School and in the Lower East Side. In 2014, she participated in a live painting tribute to Frida Kahlo at the New York Botanical Gardens and created a painting for the art opening of the Nina Simone documentary The Amazing Nina Simone. Nia has been featured as a poet at the Nuyorican Poets Café and in Queens Lit Fest. Her art has been published in SmokeLong Quarterly and her writing has been published in Moko Magazine and The Abuela Stories Project anthology. Nia also designed the cover art for this anthology. You can view her work at www.andinostyles.com

Tamara G. Saliva is a native Nuyorican born in Brooklyn N.Y. and raised on the borders of Harlem and Washington Heights. She is a self-published author of the book Blue Vein Pages, a self- taught artist, and jewelry maker. Her work has been published in the Hunter College Literary magazine, LETRAS and Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians. She has been featured in numerous poetry showcases, including at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. You can find her work at HERE. 

She can be contacted at tamaragsaliva@aol.com

Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor Esq. is a public service Attorney who works with at risk youth in the New York City Department of Education. She came to writing and poetry through nightly story telling with her children. She is an avid indoor and outdoor gardener who loves to learn about the medicinal properties of herbs and spices and the benefits of gardening and self-sustainability. Yadhira finds joy in cloning and propagating her houseplants, boasting a collection of over forty various species of houseplants. She is the author of two published illustrated children’s books, Martina Finds a Shiny Coin and Martina and the Wondrous Waterfall. She was published in the anthology, Bronx Memoir Project from the Bronx Council of the Arts and contributes to her own blog Eggshell Gal Friday which can be found at egfriday.wordpress.com. Yadhira is a proud member of the Full Circle Ensemble Sunday Writing Circle and performed her spoken word with the Circle last fall in Harlem, NYC

Cindy Peralta is better known as Black Angel during times of poetic war and AnaCaona in times of peace. A guerrera salon- maker, superwoman mother to two superheroes in training and overall light bearer of badass awesomeness! A poet, spoken word performer, writer, monologist, actress and now published author, she is interested in pursuing the deepest crevices of her magic bag of talent to see what comes next. Her work can be found on youtube and various social media platforms including Facebook or follow her blog www.wordpress.blackangelthepoet.com. She’s performed at The Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, Governors Island Poetry Festival, Dodge Poetry Festival, Eastern Correctional Facility, Riker’s Island Correctional Facility and in the elusive train stations of the melting pot that is NYC. She can be reached via Facebook, by email at blackangelthepoet@gmail.com or morse code —…

Melissa “Emalia” Medina was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and raised in Spanish Harlem during the 70s and 80s. She began journaling at a very young age and received a National Young Writer’s Plaque in 6th grade. She is the author of Alpha Omega Poetry: Life Lessons and has featured at The Nuyorican Poet’s Café, The National Black Theater and The Bronx Museum of The Arts. Emalia can be described as a low key poet with a lot of real-life personal experiences to share. Her words tend to hit deep, sometimes painful but always honest. She can be reached at Msmelimedina@gmail.com

Janel Cloyd is about the business of living her poems. She walks each step manifesting verbs and leaving her words everywhere she goes. Her work appears in the Cave Canem digital anthology, Gathering Ground. She is published by the Yellow Chair and Poeming Pigeon. She is a Watering Hole fellow. Currently, she is completing an artist residency with the Willow Arts Alliance.

Flora Montes was born and raised in the Bronx. She is an Entrepreneur and is the CEO of Bronx Fashion Week. She put her writing voice on hold for a few years while bringing her dream of a Fashion House to life to the beautiful borough of the Bronx and making history. Rediscovering her writing through this writing workshop feels like going back to her first love. This is her first published poem in over a decade.

Sydney Valerio is a Bronx native and resident that enjoys focusing on the socio-cultural aspects of life that shape our perspective. She dedicates her ‘gift to uplift’ to education, youth development and the preservation of cultural literacy. In 2015, she joined the spoken word performance community as a member of the Full Circle Ensemble. She has performed in the National Black Theater, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and most recently, her one woman show “Matters” sold out at The Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. Visit her website www.sydneyvalerio.com to access her published poetry and event announcements.

Jama Clark worked in advertising and was the co-founder of a group called History Making Beauties. 

 Jama was the keynote speaker at multiple events and also worked as a freelance voice actor. She had always written but was most recently driven to write by the loss of her father however she was given the strength to share her gift by the women that embraced her in this anthology. Continually giving back to the people and organizations that changed her life, Jama was writing a book to inspire women to choose courage over fear. 

Jama would have loved to perform her work with her creative talent and beautiful, powerful speaking voice. She believed that like the sky she was limitless. 

All performances of this anthology are dedicated to the memory and words of Jama Clark who crossed the Kalunga line in March of 2017 before she could see her words in print. Ibaye baye tonu...