fire. fire. fire. FIRE.
“Audrey Dimola is the personification of creativity, talent and light [...] The book is no doubt a reflection of the energy and light Audrey emits, and reads fluidly and vulnerably. Though the book began with the loss of her own personal firecracker, it is an embodiment of fireworks depicted on paper – words exploding and erupting with each turn of the page. TRAVERSALS is both empowering and moving.” – Give Me Astoria
The day is finally here..
My second collection of poetry & prose, TRAVERSALS, meets the world.
CLICK HERE to order a signed & dedicated copy directly from me, securely via PayPal (please note you do not need to have a PayPal account).
174 pages of original poetry & prose!
if you can’t move, let the breath move..
if you can’t be the ship, be the oar.
if you can’t be the oar, be the compass.
if you can’t be the compass, be the slightest stirring
in the voyager’s heart that told him –
i will not waste this day like all the others.
if you can’t be the voyager, be the faintest flickering
of the arrow magnetized towards whatever is greater –
whatever you can see in that last moment,
with your eyes widened and the water in your lungs –
that suddenly makes you forget how to drown…
“the backbone of this book is a celebration of the knowing + the unknowing in one life + heart. of memories + freedom. a call to those warriors we meet on the paths we take who bring us light. that stranger who becomes a lover who becomes a ghost. the one who leaves an imprint in our desert for the rest of time like the eroding of rock turned river. the ghosts of our past, of ourselves, of promises long broken. and what we choose to do with these ghosts…” -nick neon, film + music video director, screenwriter & creative director @ rollthedicepictures.com
“Audrey Dimola uses words to harness light, and this collection of poetry and prose brings that light to dark places and broken spaces. With her native New York feet, wildchild spirit, and poetic fingertips, the author selflessly cuts open her own scars to reveal that beauty can emerge from pain. Using her writing gift and keen understanding of the human condition, she howls at the light of the moon so that the reader does not drown in darkness. The beauty of the moonlight remains in the reader’s heart and mind long after reading the words.” -maria karaiskos, nyc teacher
From the author: A series of events in my life that began in that Fall of 2011 spurred it on. It was unavoidable. I lost my beautiful firecracker of a Nana and then my longest relationship, left my solid job, and then met the explosive muse who struck the arc of TRAVERSALS. And it went on after that – dazzling highs and startling lows, wildness and bewilderment, adventures with beautiful souls I will never forget. That’s what TRAVERSALS chronicles, what gets left behind and how we honor what we have experienced – the people we’ve loved, lost, suffered with, and let go; the brave hearts in the trenches beside us; the ones that breathe new life into us; the ghosts we are haunted by and the ghosts we become in the lives of others.. At the end of the day TRAVERSALS is really about the resiliency of the human heart – trusting the process, trusting the journey when it comes to life and art.
And if you’re in the NYC area, please join me for the BOOK LAUNCH & PERFORMANCE PARTY at the brand new Q.E.D. venue in Astoria, Queens!
Thursday, November 13th
at the brand new Q.E.D.: A Place to Show & Tell venue
in Astoria, Queens!
(27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria-Ditmars Blvd N/Q stop)
Join Queens-born poet/performer/firecracker Audrey Dimola as she celebrates the release of her second collection of poetry & prose, TRAVERSALS. Known for anything but perpetuating the traditional reading format, you can count on an interdisciplinary love-fest, semi-inappropriate jokes, and tales of the triumph of the human spirit.
Talented friends of the poetic, musical, and dancey variety will be on hand to perform and debut special collaborations (and books will be for sale, of course!): Poet/singer Valerie G. Keane, dancer/choreographer Kymberly Nolden, musician/actor/dancer Jacob Horstmeier (with violinist/singer Margaret-Ellen Jeffreys!), poet/musician Marc Montfleury & playwright/musician Tyler Rivenbark combine powers with Audrey herself for an evening both fun and heartfelt.
RSVP at the FACEBOOK INVITE!
Thank you ALL endlessly for your love, light & support.. The journey begins again. XXOO
Ever since I first met writer, curator, and Queens powerhouse Wendy Angulo when I was organizing my Queens Literary Town Hall last October – I admired her strength, fire, and drive. One year since then, I’m so thrilled to announce that I am a featured poet in the lineup of Wendy’s next Canvas of Words show: PRESERVING OUR ROOTS!
On its third installment, Canvas of Words hits Queens, New York also known as “The Melting Pot” with CULTURE, HISTORY and IDENTITY.
Distinguished and Emerging Performance Poets will share their ROOTS as they take on a journey of filled with TRADITION & HISTORY. The journey will include “the American Dream” and the importance of preserving CULTURE, HISTORY and IDENTITY when achieving it.
A graffiti exhibition by visual artist Lawrence Hossanah Myse follows the themed show and will surround the stage and audience. Musicians and dancers will also join the arts and through their craft show the importance of preserving ROOTS to keep history alive.
The night will be a celebration of cultural diversity.
Hosted by “Advocate of Wordz”
Featuring: Bonafide Rojas, Annette Estevez, Rafael Landron, Roya Marsh, Modesto “Flako” Jimenez, Audrey Dimola, Cindy “Black Angel” Peralta, Carmen Taveras Molina and Nefertiti Asanti.
Produced by Wendy Angulo Productions & Robleswrites
Saturday October 11, 2014 from 7:30pm to 10:30pm
at the Victoria Congregational Church, 144-64 87th Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11435.
Tickets available at Eventbrite.com
**SPECIAL 2 TICKETS FOR $20 Fri Oct 3rd – Sun Oct 5th**!!
Advance Tix $12 (thru Oct 10), $20 at the door
Giving yourself SPACE.
S P A C E.
Today’s lunchtime meditation at Three Jewels in NYC reminded me.
Laying on the floor, focusing on the breath, for half an hour. In my work clothes, no less.
Not asking anything of yourself but to EXIST. And experience the marvel of your existence.. But just laying. And breathing. Not judging. Coming back and back and back.. To the breath.
Taking a hit off your natural energy.. I haven’t felt this in so long. My mind has been absolutely RUTHLESS lately. I am feeling the effects of all my aforementioned issues in addition to distraction and internet addiction.
But that’s not what this is about.
This is about a dedication to myself and to BEING. Just – being.
And that meditation made me realize that it is still – and always will be – POSSIBLE. To float out of yourself, your body, your constrictions, restrictions, obligations, obsessions, fixations, crippling fears, and exhaustion.
Just float. Away.
This is my journey. Back to the jewel in the center of the lotus.
Om Mani Padme Hum.
now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. a summons has come and i am ready for my journey.
- w.b. yeats’ intro to rabindranath tagore’s gitanjali
Ladies & gents, meet “TRAVERSALS.”
OFFICIAL RELEASE (online/select retailers) 11/3/14
BOOK LAUNCH & PERFORMANCE PARTY in ASTORIA, QUEENS 11/13/14
Preorders & more info on the book & launch can be found here
Last weekend and this week have been difficult – for subversive reasons.. But I am realizing yet again how important it is to recognize that although we make grand, sweeping gestures about the “REST OF OUR LIVES!” and get enthusiastic about “FINALLY FIGURING IT OUT!” it doesn’t mean it sticks forever.. But that’s totally and absolutely okay.
My anxieties crept in – even worse than they have in awhile. Same with the fixation, the guilt. And the fear that I have, over and over again – that “this feeling” will never go away.. So subtle – how it changes your perspective of everything.. As you think, so shall you be. Fear the world? Yes, that world shall be fearsome. Open yourself to the world? And it will follow suit.
It has been so hard.. I have been so hard on myself. But it makes the rise that much sweeter. And I realized:
This is the place I create from. The place that knows the feeling of pain and dually comforts the world and myself. I would not be able to do otherwise. It is inherent in the art – the authenticity of the anguish or triumph. Not one without the other. One day this week I saw a poetry graffiti piece I forgot I did – I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t missed my stop on the bus. “& though you find yourself grounded, trust that you will fly again.”
We are falling into place to heal ourselves, to heal others – even when we don’t realize it.. The universe will present the signs to you if you keep walking.
As always and forever and ever.. This is the pattern. The push and tug. The ebb and flow. The natural order.. We cannot create, we cannot relate, we cannot truly live – if we do not keep moving onward through the dark.
ONLY BECAUSE WE SUFFER CAN WE LEARN HOW TO BE STRONG.
I realize this is my calling. In the dark I reach for the pen. The chalk. The words. I write these messages because I need them, too.. Not because I am always operating from a place of perfect peace and security. I am afraid. I am crippled by fears. I am lost. I am fighting against the dark.. But doing this makes me feel better. And every time someone tells me that it helped them, too - that they needed to see it, that I played some small part in letting a message from the universe be delivered.. The circle is unbroken. Gratitude. Because without the pain, the words would not exist.
I shall go on marching,/ opening broad roads against the shadow, making/ the earth smooth, spreading/ the star for those who come. -Neruda
PS: You can find more images like the ones above on my Instagram @audreyleopard :)
PPS: I would be absolutely remiss not to mention that today is the birthday of my greatest hero.. MR. FREDDIE MERCURY. The man who taught me so much about what I know of bravery, of creativity, of living your destiny, living beyond boundaries, making your legend REAL. Since I was forged as a true Queen fan at 12 years old – there are no words to describe what this man has helped me to realize, what he has taught me, the heights of emotion he has pulled from me.. Pure and complete adoration, forever and ever. Cheers, my darling – my fire will always be linked to yours, my heart bursting with color because yours showed me how.. THANK YOU. FOR YOU. XXXOOO
Strangely, as a writer.. I am always after the wordless.
Especially after chasing words and meaning your whole life – expressing it in poetry, in prose, in speech, on paper, with a pen, with computer keys – tangible.. There is something so interesting in taking it OFF the page. In making it move.
In going forward in my work I am so excited about playing more with this.. This spirit of freedom, of movement, of cross-genre collaboration – of how the arts inform each other and each express something the other can’t. They fill in the cracks. Inspire the other to break open a little more. Breathe a little more. STRETCH a little more..
I am reminded of this every time I move away from pen and page, from computer keys and screen – my time at The Yoga Room brought this to my field of vision and since then I have never been the same. One of my favorite yoga teachers (who is also an amazing friend) paraphrased Martha Graham and said – the body in motion reveals all. I came back to the mat to practice yesterday and felt it immediately. After weeks and weeks of not doing an actual yoga class - I slipped back into this realm. This LANGUAGE. That doesn’t require any planning or pretense or anything besides – showing up.
So much of life is like that, I realize.
‘Daring Greatly’ is inspiring me again this morning. The author has an amazing vulnerability prayer: Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen. SHOWING UP. LETTING YOURSELF be seen.. The incredible experience of being involved in the local literary community has taught me this, and hosting/performing at Inspired Word especially, every couple weeks.. Having the ability to see performers at work, being vulnerable, letting themselves be seen, trying new things, freely collaborating, being open – it has a direct effect on me. I recommend it to EVERYONE – to put yourself in situations surrounded by open-hearted, brave, creative people.. Even if you yourself are terrified, or don’t want to perform – there is so much to be said – as I always discuss with my lovely friend and fellow poet Valerie Keane – for just showing up. Being there. EXPERIENCING..
Back to the wordless: REMEMBER that this exists. That there is a whole other realm for you to tap into, especially if you are usually creating in a medium that “doesn’t work that way.” Inspire yourself to step out of the box we always find ourselves in.. Most of the time, we make the box ourselves. WHY do we have to do it this way? WHY can’t we do it differently from everyone else? WHY can’t we change the course of our own history? Be inspired by the work around you and in your surrounding culture, whether mainstream or local – be inspired, but not dictated by it. All it takes is ONE person to do it differently. It always works this way.. Who says we need to stay in the usual forms, and follow suit?
Ntozake Shange has an incredible book that pushes the boundaries called ‘Lost in Language & Sound’ that has been inspiring me so much. Even the way her words look on the page, even the way she spells things – are so different. Her ideas of the “choreopoem” fall in line with things I started to experiment with – the meeting of words and dance is pure POETRY to me.. She writes: & yes/ in order to think n communicate the thoughts n feelings i want to think n communicate/ i haveta fix my tool to my needs/ i have to take it apart to the bone/ so that the malignancies/ fall away/ leaving us space to literally create our own image.
This is exactly how it felt for me to work on “MIRRORS” with my beautiful friend Kym Nolden, who choreographed this piece for debut at my WORLD OF WORDS: QUEENS show at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center this past April. The whole process was an exercise in vulnerability and trusting.. Being so inspired and humbled and shaken up by the openness of the dancers, the craft of dance itself, the hugeness of the show, the fact that I hadn’t even written “MIRRORS” when we started, hadn’t performed with memorization in many moons, never worked with dancers before, and was struck with emotion every time I performed because the subject of the piece was still raw in my heart and mind..
I remember – in the midst of a solid block of other shows and curating craziness, putting together the show, my own jobs and life happenings, exhaustion, stress, nerves, on and on and on.. Finally getting the piece down in my apartment, practicing it over and over, THEN going to the theatre at LaGuardia, performing it with the dancers for the first time - and absolutely falling apart. I couldn’t remember the words or the cues. Here I was – the curator of the show, the author of the piece – the dancers had their choreography down and were so patient and beautiful and open.. And I was screwing it up! Oh, ego. So much I learned.. I had to get out of my own way. I pushed the ego out. I tried hard to let it go. And I went back the next day, a day or so before the show, and stayed in that theatre by myself for a few hours, running it and running it onstage, all alone in front of 300 empty seats. TRUSTING.. In the beauty of the vulnerability. Of the rawness. Of the uncertainty..
When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable. -Madeleine L’Engle
And at the show – this is what happened. The piece I am most proud of. The style that – god willing – you will see more of. Thank you endlessly to Handan at LaGuardia for giving me space for the show, and to Kym, Jacob, and Sarah for creating this unforgettable experience with me. My heart is eternally bursting with gratitude for your beautiful energies bringing these words to life..
More to come.