An image from my #poetsinthewildnyc series for National Poetry Month
The past several weeks.. ETERNiDAY. IAM open mic. UNSTAGED. Latimer Lounge’s Creative Spark. Astoria Stand Up. Finally.. World of Words. And everything in between..
I just want to express how thankful I am – how humbled, thrilled, shaken, excited, inspired, pushed to the limits, broken open, floating on the wind.
So many people I’ve met and dear friends I’ve worked with in new ways.. Performing, dancing, hanging out, rehearsing, brainstorming, laughing, crying, celebrating, watching, marveling, jumping into the unknown.. It has all touched me so deeply.
Getting my hands dirty in everything..
This howling heart has been running, running, running so hard.
Now – back to basics. Viscerality. Collaboration. Exploration. The stage – anywhere and everywhere it erupts. Less typing, more doing. Smiling. Laughing. Time. Spending. Sweating. Burning.. Taking it back.
Reassessing. To move forward, forward, forward – always forward.
THANK YOU ALL for being a part of it.
So honored to announce I’ll be one of the hosts of Mike Geffner’s THE INSPIRED WORD open mic finally coming to Queens! Come see us – enjoy, perform, meet and be inspired by new friends – EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT 7-10pm starting May 7 (I’ll be featured performer, then hosting on May 14 & 28), at COFFEED (37-18 Northern Blvd), right off the 36th St stop on the M/R.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.. – m. oliver.
I. will. see. you. SOON.
Be infinite -
WORLD OF WORDS: QUEENS
A forward-moving celebration of Queens Literary Arts
Hosted & Curated by Audrey Dimola
Saturday, April 12th, 3-5:30pm
Little Theatre at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
31-10 Thomson Ave, Long Island City
Exploratory, emotional, ecstatic – these Queens locals and Queens supporters will share their stories with all the vibrancy and authenticity this borough is known for. Wit, rawness, passion, humor, and honesty: this is WORLD OF WORDS.
Live onstage in LaGuardia Performing Arts Center‘s 200-seat Little Theatre, local writers/poets and performers – some of whom appeared in the first ever Queens Literary Town Hall at Queens Council on the Arts and the Queens Poet Laureate’s ETERNiDAY festival at Queens Museum – will share their expressions in a variety of literary mediums interspersed with multi-disciplinary interludes, including poetry, storytelling, music, dance, video, theatre, spoken word, and literature in translation.
Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Richard Jeffrey Newman
Poetry Teachers NYC featuring Megan DiBello, Daniel Dissinger & Aimee Herman
Jack Feldstein & his Neon Films
Valerie G. Keane
Wendy Angulo’s Canvas of Words
(with a play staged by Sarah Burkhalter & Brandon Jones)
Literature in Translation from Queens College students Clint Ruhlman, Kristina Kalpaxis & Marta Mondelli
M. Leona Godin
Debut performances from words/movement collective The Pen & The Ink (Kym Nolden, Audrey Dimola, Sarah Kit Farrell & Jacob Horstmeier)
& ALSO Ellen Stedfeld will be doing some LIVE DRAWING of the performers/performances!!
I am bowing to this moment, to infinite abundance – to the sweat, to the energy, to the work, to the journey. May all opposition, all fear, all hesitance MELT in this warmth. It’s been a long, long winter – but ASK ME WHY THE COLD CAN’T TOUCH ME. ‘There is eternal summer in the grateful heart..’
Ladies & gents, I would be thrilled and honored to have you at any of the events I’m involved in or cooking up for you in the coming weeks. This has been the most exhilarating, surprising, and electrifying time in my life thus far for a myriad of reasons, and I feel truly BLESSED to have the opportunity to share my art, bring people together, and crusade for culture in Queens & NYC.
It is true that because of my doubts and anxieties I only believe in fire. […] Life. Fire. Being myself on fire I set others on fire. Never death. Fire and life. -Anaïs Nin
3/15/14 QUEENS POET LAUREATE PAOLO JAVIER’S ETERNiDAY
I’m honored to be curating the local stage, “MEANWHILE BACK IN QUEENS…” at the last event Paolo Javier is doing as current Queens Poet Laureate. MASSIVE, immersive celebration of literary arts as well as local writers/poets/reading series in Queens. Full schedule here / DNAinfo NY interview with Paolo about the event here.
3/28/14 UNSTAGED: A PLAYWRIGHTING & PERFORMANCE EXPERIMENT
As part of the 2014 Rough Draft Festival, my co-curator Tyler Rivenbark and I are experimenting with theatre of the unexpected: 10 playwrights will be paired with random groups of actors to write, rehearse, and stage plays LIVE on the spot, with the entire process cracked open for the audience to observe and partake in. Free-form event, come and go as you please from 3-9pm, culminates in a Q&A/celebration in the Little Theatre! Brownstoner Queens article about the show and festival here.
4/12/14 AUDREY DIMOLA’S WORLD OF WORDS: QUEENS
SO EXCITED and grateful to have this amazing 200-seat theatre space to produce my biggest event to date, a multi-disciplinary celebration of literary arts in Queens, featuring writers, poets, storytellers, and spoken word artists WITH multi-genre interludes including music, video, literature in translation AND the debut performances from myself and Kym Nolden’s words & movement collective, The Pen & The Ink – dance and poetry!
PLEASE ALSO keep a lookout for Crescent Street Films and keep APRIL 5th & 13th in your calendar in Astoria. A fantastic new friend of mine named Paras Chaudhari is producing a film called “ASTORIA PARK” exploring racial tensions, LGBT issues, and more on the local basketball court, and is pulling together the community to celebrate and spread awareness. BIG local talent showcases I’m helping to curate at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, 2-5pm AND The Strand Smokehouse, 5-8pm - ASTORIA STAND UP! Email me if you want to be involved ;)
AND I am so thrilled and honored to say that my self-published collection of poetry & prose, “DECISIONS WE MAKE WHILE WE DREAM,” is now on sale in ENIGMA BOOKSTORE in Astoria, Queens! (33-17 Crescent St). The book was a HUGE dream of mine and this is the next level.. Thank you to Enigma, thank you to everyone who has supported me and enjoyed the book thus far – it means more than I can say. If you’d like to get a copy, please check out Enigma Bookstore! A wonderful local business always in support of the arts.
Here’s to what we will create TOGETHER in spring and summer and the months beyond –
See you out there!
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:
I’ll be performing at IAM (Immigrant Advancement Matters)’s first Open Mic of 2014 at COFFEED 3/21/14 [Facebook]
My amazing mom is sharing her energy work at the NEWLIFE Expo 3/22/14 [Website]
You make the commitment, and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream, and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick! This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood, this is the shamanic dance in the waterfall, this is how magic is done: it’s done by hurling yourself into the abyss, and discovering that it’s a feather bed. -Terence McKenna
plunging fingers into fissures.. where is the crack in the wall, the rip in this reality, that will lead us back home? i say – bring on the dark. all the better to see our glow.. LIGHT IT UP.
January two thousand and fourteen. Ladies & gents, I feel blessed to be here, doing what I do. This year is all about doing things that scare me, or challenge me. New frontiers, new collaborations, new ways to play and be inspired.
After doing an amazing firepit “ritual” on my 26th birthday surrounded by family and friends, my best friend and I came up with an idea – set fire to your fear. Routinely. And the other night we did just that – mine? “I am afraid of losing my way.” And then – LIGHT IT UP.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown tired of holding back. Grown tired of being ashamed. I am what I am what I am. We are all sparks and when we come together we can make something magical.. Give yourself PERMISSION, give yourself kindness and grace. To be exactly who you are. To create the world you want to live in..
on my last birthday cake i blew out the candles and said: ‘i wish i would never grow up.’ blessings all around & i feel the little girl i used to be constantly tugging at my sleeve. ‘don’t forget. don’t forget to believe.’ everyday.. keep the lights on. keep hollerin’ from the trees. keep swingin’ on the monkey bars. keep scrapin’ your knees. keep the happiness in your heart.. the rest will work itself out. here’s to lost boys. here’s to flying. here’s to never growing up.
I am so looking forward to EVERY. THING. HAPPENING. This year. To burst out in a blaze of color. “Audrey Dimola, what a production…” a dear of mine sighed to me last night. Yes.. Yes indeed ;)
First up: I hope to see you at the return of NATURE OF THE MUSE later this month, my reading and live writing event by the fire at LIC BAR! I’m honored to have some dear friends and fellow writers of diverse backgrounds coming along for the ride, in addition to two wonderful musicians! This is where it all started.. The first event I ever solo-curated – thanks from the bottom of my heart to my very talented pal Gus Rodriguez for setting me up with the fireside space and giving “Muse” a home, this time last year. LET’S DO THIS! You can find out more about previous Nature of the Muse events HERE.
Thank you so much to Brandon for the flyer! XO
Yesterday! I was thrilled to have been Glitter & Doom‘d! The amazing photography & interview project founded by my soul sister & dear friend, Liz Nieves, throwing the spotlight on local creatives. It’s so fun to remember where you’ve been.. Grateful.
“Years ago I would feel trepidation in calling myself a writer. I would feel silly saying it. You go through this whole struggle with validation. Are you a writer when you are published or are you a writer when someone tells you that you are? I just realized that this is what I am come hell or high water. Now I introduce myself as a writer, hell yes I do. If I feel like being fancy I say I’m a poet…”
Ha! ;) Please check it out in addition to all the other great content – an exhibition of photos from the series is also going up next month!
I’m really excited to be reading for several wonderful friends of mine across NYC over the next few months, which you can find out more about below, AND – please save the dates! Thanks to the connection of two amazing people (DB & Handan!) I will be curating my first events at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center! MARCH 28 is a live playwrighting/staging/acting event in site-specific spaces around LaGuardia, co-curated with my crazy talented playwright/musician friend, Tyler Rivenbark! AND – APRIL 12 will see a multi-disciplinary celebration of Queens literary arts in the 200-seat little theatre at LPAC. SO. EXCITED.
More deets to come, for everything.. Until then, please feel free to reach out! Add me on Instagram @audreyleopard! Email and say hello! I will be living by the incredible Hermann Hesse’s words.. This is a new age of creation for me – of collaboration, invocation, inspiration – guided by dreams and visions, open hearts, open doors..
From the sacred center of the world
streams forth an irrepressible desire
to overcome the silence between things.
Art, the ever flowing fountain, reveals
the secret of life through word and gesture, color and sound.
The world wants to be known to spirit
and find expression for timeless wisdom.
All life longs for a language.
Deep intuitions wish to surface,
find words and numbers, lines and tones,
always evolving forms of understanding.
This. This. This.
Love in the infinite & abundant possibilities..!
Curating/hosting Nature of the Muse at LIC Bar – 1/30/14 [Facebook]
Reading at In Celebration of The Year of the Horse: A Prose and Poetry Reading at Bliss on Bliss Studio – 2/2/14 [Facebook]
Reading at Poetry Teachers NYC’s The Unveiling Arrival at Bowery Poetry Club – 3/9/14 [Facebook]
Co-curating Live Playwrighting/Staging/Acting at Rough Draft Festival at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center – 3/28/14 Save the date!
Curating/hosting Queens Literary Festival at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center – 4/12/14 Save the date!
“Art in Hesse’s vision and practice leads the way to joy. The true artist nourishes the soul. The true poet’s medium is the sacred word. Hesse tries to restore the word as an instrument of the possible and the imagined, as a luminous bridge to the unknown.” – Ludwig Max Fischer, PhD, from ‘The Seasons of the Soul,’ a collection of Hermann Hesse’s poetry.
Image via Pinterest
I’m sitting here right now watching a snowglobe out my window. It’s amazing to me just what kind of memories snow can conjure.
A dear friend and fellow artist told me that if the snow sticks they were going to have a snowball fight outside a local bar, and it struck me. It’s really good to see “grown-ups” keeping the inner child alive.
The inner child is such a very important idea for me. I was talking to another lovely friend about visualizing your way out of anxious situations – and really what it comes down to is imagination. So soon we forget the hours we spent imagining – even the words themselves, when you look at the phrase and break it down – “make believe” – MAKING your BELIEFS – how could we know then how essential it would be for us to remember?
Litanies of to-do’s, places to rush to, ten million apps to check on. I can still remember long car rides with nothing but myself and what I imagined in my head. No music, no phone, no books (but only because I’d get carsick ;)).
I find that some the most friction I feel in life is when “reality” (insert HUGE air quotes) is forcing me to give up on the inner child. On the endless possibility it represents. When you were a kid, everyone told you – the sky was the limit, you could do anything you put your mind to. You could create worlds to live in and spend hours there. Now, you have to fall in line. Pay the bills. Keep your head down. “Grow up.” Society at large – or even more insidiously, sometimes the closest people around you – try to convince you your dreams are too big, or you should take the safer route, or THEY tried and failed so YOU shouldn’t bother getting hurt too, or, of course – it’s not the time or the place, or you’re too young or too old or too inexperienced or you need this qualification or that qualification or etc. etc. etc. Gatekeepers. On and on, forever. But.
NO ONE should make those decisions for you. But you.
I will never let go of the inner child – because the inner child is me, no separation. What stops us from manifesting things into reality? From dreaming so big we have no idea how it will actually happen, but only that somehow, it will?
When I reached out to a very cool street artist who was hanging his DIY cardboard graffiti paintings around Astoria and the NYC area, I shared my Compass Project poetry sticker project with him and he pointed out this poem on one of the stickers, which I wrote from 5 prompt words a friend gave me:
it’s always on the darkest days
when a sliver
of phantom sunlight
hits my face -
that i am reminded
of all you lose in the strain.
as a child you think: when you’re older
you won’t ever be afraid -
so next time you fear
remember that little boy or girl
and convince yourself, for them, to be brave.
It was so cool to have a reminder like that – and the poem came back and sat in my heart, waving pinwheels and sparklers. I remembered.
THIS was the time we were all waiting for when we were kids. We’re “grown-ups” now! We can do whatever we want, and we won’t be afraid! Or so we thought. So many dreams are left in schoolbooks or toy boxes – in the corners and under blankets where we hid. There’s no reason why we can’t go back and pick them up again. Every moment is a chance – and there is nothing that can change that.
We all have the power to use whatever situation we are born into to learn something, to leave something behind, to create worlds or even just make one person’s day brighter with a small gesture.
When you wake up in the dark, as I did this morning, and the fears start creeping in from the floor and the ceiling, remember – you are the only one who can change that moment. Your perception, your will, your joy or your sorrow. Take steps to live the life you’ve always wanted to.
Make your inner child proud.
Happy Snow Day,
Trajectories: words and music / collab with thingNY – 12/12/13 [Facebook]
“To the one who didn’t fit. To she who bucked authority and challenged the status quo… To the ones whose dreams were crushed by adults whose dreams were crushed… To the child of light who cannot die, even when she’s choking in seven seas of darkness… You are holy. I love you. You are a miracle. Your life, your feelings, your hopes and dreams – they matter. Somebody failed you but you will not fail. Somebody looked in your eyes and saw the sun – blazing – and got scared. Somebody broke your heart but your love remains perfect. Somebody lost their dreams and thought you should too, but you mustn’t.”
Photo via crbustamantejr Instagram
I would LOVE to send a HUGE shout-out to my great friend and fellow journalist Cesar Bustamante who put together a LIVE CALENDAR OF LITERARY EVENTS IN QUEENS! Please check this out - click HERE!
I would also love to thank Underground Books‘ Unlikely Blond blog for reviewing my first book, “Decisions We Make While We Dream”!
“She has been tearing up the New York poetry scene with her dream-like poetry. Audrey Dimola, the young and vivacious character straight out of Long Island City, Queens, is as charismatic personally as she is in her writing. Her collection of poems, Decisions We Make While We Dream, has me entranced. Here, writing this with her book at my side, I am still enshrouded in a mist of wonderment.” You can check it out HERE.
They also published three of my pieces – “winter (reprise),” “V.XII,” and “becoming” on their Kitchen Poet online journal, which you can check out HERE. Much love and gratitude!
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to curate and host an event that brought together some of the most talented artists and organizers in the Queens literary community. The QUEENS LITERARY TOWN HALL is a night I will never forget, and now there are lots of photos and a video of highlights featuring ALL the performers and presenters:
First Tuesdays Reading Series & Open Mic
Newtown Literary Journal
Oh, Bernice! Reading Series
REZ Reading Series / Richmond Hill Library Readings
Boundless Tales Reading Series
Five Boro Story Project / Art, Food & Soul
Canvas of Words
Poetry Teachers NYC
Mindful Writing with Emily Herzlin
Mission to dit(Mars)
Nature of the Muse reading & live writing
All of these individuals and organizers are from all over Queens – Kew Gardens, Jackson Heights, Astoria, Jamaica, and more – and if you’d like to see what’s in store for the Queens lit community in the coming months and who is working hard to promote and support it, please check these people out! I am lucky to know all of them, and every single person who helped promote the event and joined us to celebrate that night.
Watch the video below and please GO HERE for many more photos and info on the presenters and performers.
Forward, always -
Listen to this speech if you have a chance.
Truly a great man. Emotionally resonating, especially today – and especially in light of what’s happened to 5 Pointz, and in Talking Transition to our new mayor in New York City.. Let these words sit in your heart and mind.
Rest in power and poetry, JFK.
When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.
The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state. The great artist is thus a solitary figure. He has, as Frost said, a lover’s quarrel with the world. In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. [...]
If sometimes our great artists have been the most critical of our society, it is because their sensitivity and their concern for justice, which must motivate any true artist, makes him aware that our Nation falls short of its highest potential. I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. [...]
But democratic society–in it, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation. And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost’s hired man, the fate of having “nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope.” […]
I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens.