Speaking on Ancestral Storytelling Pt. 1
Featured Guests: Carissa Ceasor and Sally Familia
In celebration of Pride and Caribbean American Heritage Month, we bring you part one of a special two-part episode featuring Girls Write Now Fellow Sally Familia and Mentee Carissa Ceasor. In this riveting conversation, both our guests talk about what it means to explore their Caribbean ancestry and queerness through writing poetry. Carissa opens with three excerpts from their in-progress poetry chapbook entitled “Messages from the Radical Diaspora.” If you’re all about culture, identity, emotional liberation, and history, this episode is for you.
Applications are now open for mentors and mentees in the Girls Write Now Collaboratory for 2023-2024. Learn more and enroll at girlswritenow.org/enroll.
Sally Familia (they/them) is a queer poet and freelance editor. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Washington Heights, Familia has a rooted passion for their community. They spent a year serving as senior editor for La Galería Magazine, a Dominican-based magazine for the Dominican diaspora in Washington Heights. They hold a B.A. in creative writing with a focus on poetry from SUNY Oswego. Most recently, Sally’s passions have shifted; now incorporating a strong desire to work with and for the youth. Sally hopes to merge their love for literature, Queer and BIPOC communities, and the youth as they continue to navigate the artist/ professional dichotomy. Sally has been awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize for the poem, “The Trouble with Reminiscing” (2019). They were also nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Brooklyn Poets for the poem, “Esperanza, Republica Dominicana”. Sally is currently working on their first poetry collection.
Carissa Ceasor is a young black author, poet and actor from the south. Their writing focuses on the conflicting expectations placed on black, queer, neurodivergent and ill individuals, and the trauma that creates. When it's not directing its gaggle of rouge actors, or leading its school's creative writing club, Carissa can be found knee-deep in old web forums running calculations on the ins and outs of realistic fictional societies, from planetary surface temperature to language specific puns. One day, Carissa hopes to befriend a sentient AI.