Speaking on Embodying Resistance
Featured Guests: Vera Sirota and Lisbett Rodriguez
Sometimes mere existence is resistance, especially when you’re a woman in the midst of a war the entire world is watching. In Episode 9, our Senior Community Systems Coordinator here at Girls Write Now Lisbett Rodriguez interviews Ukranian-American poet and Girls Write Now Mentor Vera Sirota about her two poems “Despite All the Odds” and “Eve’s Eyebrows” part of her new chapbook We Bow To No One (Bottlecap Press). Vera and Lisbett dive into Ukrainian identity, powerful women, and overcoming difficult circumstances. They also conceptualize resistance as fluid and as something that can be embodied by simply remaining alive when all the odds are stacked against you.
Content Warning: discussion of war and displacement
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.
Lisbett Rodriguez (she/her) is a Dominican-American lifelong learner bringing her love of stories, community and service-oriented work. She was previously a Girls Write Now mentee and graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. As an undergraduate student, she contributed to producing two publications of the Brooklyn College literary magazine, The Junction which provided her with the tools to support in producing the annual Girls Write Now anthology for three years and counting. In August 2022, she became a Salesforce Certified Administrator after developing a strong interest for systems and databases. She's passionate about work that centers and uplifts women and gender-expansive folx and has previously worked with two women’s organizations, Legal Momentum and the Brooklyn College Women’s Center. In her free time, she enjoys watching feel-good shows, spending time with friends and playing video games.
Vera Sirota is a poet, freelance writer and teacher. She was a NYC public school teacher and teaching artist specializing in writing instruction. She wrote her master’s thesis about using photography as a writing tool for English Language Learners. Vera was raised in a bilingual and bicultural home as the granddaughter of Ukrainian immigrants. Vera serves as a mentor for Girls Write Now, NYC’s premier creative writing organization for high school girls and gender-expansive youth. She is a finalist for The Poetry Barn’s 2022 Poetic License contest. Vera’s poems are forthcoming in the anthology: Ukrainian American Poets Respond. Her work was also published in The Poetry Distillery.