Grandmother, Abuela, Nana, Mamá- no matter what term of endearment we use to describe them, Abuelas play a pivotal role in our identity, our customs, and in our conditioning whether it be through reprimands, gentle hugs or vivid memories. “The Abuela Stories Project”, an anthology available online at amazon.com and createspace.com, highlights the essence of Abuelas, their guidance, distinctive personalities, and detriments through original works of poetry, prose and photography.
Award winning poet Peggy Robles-Alvarado partnered with Bronx based visual artist and photographer Daisy Arroyo to capture Abuelas as artists, dancers, drummers and rebels redefining themselves. These images served as inspiration to a group of women writers who created passionate and sometimes painful original works that tell of Abuelas and the lives they have touched. “The Abuela Stories Project” is bringing distinct Abuelas out of the kitchen, from past memory into a present day spotlight, to take an intimate look at the lessons they offer new generations.
Following the sweeping success of her award winning poetic memoir “Conversations with My Skin” and a to-capacity book launch for her second poetry and prose collection “Homenaje a las guerreras/Homage to the Warrior Women,” Peggy Robles-Alvarado is thrilled to announce the completion of her most recent title “The Abuela Stories Project”. She devised this project after becoming an Abuela in her early thirties and as an act of creative rebellion against those who found little value in stories about these modern day matriarchs. Peggy depicts Abuelas whose roles and delineations continue to evolve within present day parameters.
September 15, 2020 through the academic year end of March of 2021.
The Exhibit will include readings from the book, showing of the photographs by Daisy Arroyo, discussions about the project, informal conversations, and story sharing with programs attendees.
Peggy Robles-Alvarado is Dominican and Puerto Rican Abuela born in Washington Heights who now lives in the Wakefield section of the Bronx and credits the borough for making her an artist. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, 2020 Atticus Review Poetry Contest winner, and a 2014 BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) award winner. 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. She has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Homeschool, Desert Nights Rising Stars, The Frost Place, VONA, The Academy For Teachers, and The Kweli Journal. She is also a three-time International Latino Book Award winner. This tenured New York City educator with advanced degrees in elementary, bilingual education, and an MFA in Performance Studies is also an initiated Lucumí and Palo Priestess who utilized her affinity for language and raw truth talent to transform her identity from teen mother to award-winning author and performance poet.
She was featured on HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center, Poets & Writers, The Black Spirit Solstice Summit, and The BADD! ASS Women Festival. She’s authored Conversations With My Skin (2011), Homage To The Warrior Women (2012), and through Robleswrites Productions created The Abuela Stories Project (2016) and Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement, and The Muse (2017). Her poetry appears in the anthologies Escape Wheel (2020), The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext (2020), What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019), Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (2019), Latinas: Voices of Protest and Struggles (2017), ¡Manteca!- Afro- Latin@ Poets (2017) and The Other Side of Violet (2017).
Peggy's emphasis on the value of words for healing, transformation, and the fostering of a positive cultural identity has allowed her to continuously create and support literary events through Robleswrites Productions. She directed sold-out performances of the poetic play Live Big Girl (2017) as well as a staged performative reading of her latest anthology. Currently, she facilitates a highly popular virtual writing workshop titled Line Breaks and Bronx Beats and continues to curate writing and performative experiences through Robleswrites Productions.
Daisy Arroyo is a Bronx artist that evokes visual pleasure and has always found inspiration from her urban roots. Her artistic journey started at an early age in the Sound View Section of the Bronx and has recently flourished in photography where she captures the essence of life and art in unexpected places, shadows, and reflections. Her work has been exhibited in at The Abrons Arts Center as part of the Perspectives from New York City Collection, at The Soho Digital Art Gallery as part of the Springing Through The Lens showcase both premiering spring of 2013.
Daisy has participated in on location photography shoots at the International Beauty Show at The Jacob Javits Center, at Brooklyn Fashion Weekend, Bronx Fashion Week and various events sponsored by New York Fashion Shows, a company that specializes in showcasing various designers such as Project Runway’s winner Irina Shabayeva, Celebrity Designer Michael Costello and Long Champ throughout the year. Most recently, Daisy’s keen eye and artistry behind the camera has led her to collaborate with artisans, spoken word artists, and writers from the tri-state area to document the power of words and memory. One of her photographs serves as cover art for The Bronx Memoir Project published by the Bronx Writers Center. To learn more about Daisy Arroyo and her work please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org