audrey dimola[art for the wild]

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ladies & gents, i am
thrilled to announce…

following

decisions we make while we dream” (2012)
and “TRAVERSALS” (2014)

my third collection of poetry and prose

WILDLIGHT:
poetry & prose
from inside the fire

will be published FALL 2017

by FLY BY NIGHT PRESS an imprint of
A GATHERING OF THE TRIBES

“to all those
who reclaim their
spirits from darkness-
who resolve to protect
the body as an altar,
and keep the fire safe-
know there is an energy of
resilience that unites us all.
we may have to fight everyday-
but we never fight alone.

this is a book about reclamation.

the stories that allowed me to salvage my heart. to return to the fire.

when i released my second book in november 2014 i had no idea what i would begin to experience during the next few months, the path that suddenly opened up and swallowed everything. the years from then to now have been the most painful, most liberating, most awe-inspiring days of my life.

this is a book about staying close to the fire. trusting in your wildlight.

it is a book about struggles with honesty, with identity. about all-consuming loves- passion, destruction, regeneration. about leaving and returning. about lack of self-love and self-worth. about mental illness and addictions. about the indomitable power of the human spirit. about reasons to live. about what happens when you break away from the life you thought you wanted- to walk into the wild. to be taught in ways only the universe can truly teach you- with blood, with sweat. with grief, and wonder. with fire. with heart.

it is a book about trying and trying and trying again…”

thus begins the journey

XO

a.

IF YOU ARE SO INCLINED, PRE-ORDER THE BOOK HERE!

* book cover photo by the amazing belinda mims

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one of the proudest moments of my life was eulogizing my beloved nana, standing beside my beautiful mother to honor her, and hearing from the family that i had captured her personality and spirit.. i wanted to point to this piece again- a life of love and laughter– today/tonight, what is now 40 minutes into her birthday on the eighth of may. and also 5 years to the day since i published my first book, decisions we make while we dream, purposely on her birthday.

a lot of my work is about writing your legend.. and this is the story, the LEGEND i will never stop telling. the fire that i have added to mine now, that helps to make mine brighter every day.

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you used to tell me- when you were born, my life began. i feel so lucky to still have this special affinity with you, sometimes even difficult for me to describe. i wish so much i got the chance to know you in the physical world as an adult- to have the choice to come visit you more often, take care of you like i said i would. ask you all the questions about the things that have happened to you, so similar to the things that have happened to me. you were taken from me far too soon. but i know i must be grateful to have known you for the 25 years i did, because there was a very good chance we could’ve missed each other.. yet we didn’t. some kind of cosmic force links us together, in the ways i know time and physical distance can never separate. the striking and simple ways you still reveal yourself to me- in cards i find, in rainbows after rain, hearts in the clouds, strong winds. i know you are behind me. i know you make me who i am. and on this day i am crying while i write this but i am so happy you were born- to live so fiercely, so brightly- to have burned an indelible mark into the world you were so briefly a part of. the way you lit up every room- your heart of gold, your mouth like a sailor!- how everyone fell in love with you. how you were so kind, so generous, so fiery, so flawed. i think of legacy and i think of you- this is how i would want to be remembered. the way i remember you, the way we all do- like the photo of you i have on my shelf- you laughing, so sassy in a low-cut tank top, with a sparkler blazing in your hand. you, always finding ways to laugh amidst the sometimes horrific cards fate dealt you. your HEART, wanting to fight to stay here longer than you were meant to. today and always, my forever beloved- you live in me, you live in all of us. you give me strength to live a thousand lives, to believe in starting over, in falling in love again. having faith and giving, being good to people, committing to living wildly and genuinely, fighting for what i want. and of course you give me strength, always, to laugh. i miss you every damn day and it never gets easier. I LOVE YOU UP TO THE SKY. happy birthday, my beautiful, beautiful NANA. you are my heart, forever and always.

never stop speaking the names of those you love! tell their stories, share their legends.

and if you see this, send out a big spark of gratitude to all the firecrackers in your life- we burn because they show us how.

XO

a.

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FRIENDSSSS!

my favorite seasons are upon us (spring! summer!) and the world is waking UP-

some fun & exciting things to share . . .

NASTY WOMEN UNITE FEST kicks off this week at venues across the city! i’ll be speaking on their panel about community engagement and activism (alongside my queens queen wendy angulo of canvas of words!) on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 @ 8pm at PAPERBOX in bklyn, followed by music and dance performances. PLEASE check out the FULL lineup- fest runs through april 30 and founder allison brzezinski did a mammoth task in bringing everyone together! MORE INFO: [website] [facebook invite]

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– my best friend NICK NEON‘s award-winning short film ULTRA BLEU just hit the internet for its digital premiere on 4/23/17 and for the first time ever you can now WATCH IT ONLINE! lived & written & shot in seoul, south korea, it’s a testament to turning your ache into art. ‘we won’t always be 20something + lost’ … so proud of you, bebeh XII MORE INFO: [facebook]

– i’ll be returning to perform at inspired word NYC’s 3rd annual QUEENS LIT FEST which i helped to curate in its inaugural year. now at LIC LANDING in beautiful gantry plaza state park, mike geffner & megan dibello do a fantastic job of curating (100!) queens poets & writers plus musicians over the whole weekend, in addition to open mic opportunities. i’ll be performing at 6pm on SUNDAY, APRIL 30. come out and meet your queens lit community!! MORE INFO: [website] [facebook]

– one of the most personal pieces i’ve ever written, ‘reliquary: the body‘ was recently published by yes, poetry magazine, edited by the lovely joanna c. valente. THANK YOU! [check it out here]

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– psstttt.. a little birdy told me that MY THIRD BOOK will be published LATER THIS YEAR! stay tuned on that… ;) !!!

– and of course…

THE 2017 SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK SEASON of PUBLIC PROGRAMS has been announced!! please CHECK OUR WEBSITE for FULL details about all of the FREE events, workshops, music, film, festivals, yoga, kayaking, dance and MUCH MORE happening in our LIC waterfront park, outdoor art museum, and community space from MAY 6 through OCTOBER 28. this is what i’ve been working on since the fall and i am so excited to finally announce it!

including . . .

** MADE AT SOCRATES, my brand new series of DIY adult (18 yrs. & up) workshops running SELECT SUNDAYS, 1-3pm, MAY THRU SEPT, including: sub-irrigated tomato planters, custom metal stamping, silkscreening, essential oils, soap-making, indigo dyeing and more, all with awesome local partners!

and

** my brand new mini-festival WILDFEST! (AAHHHH) SATURDAY MAY 20, 12-3pm
Wake up your inner explorer with a new mini-festival celebrating outdoor adventure, native folklore, and a richer relationship with the natural world! Join us for a variety of earthy art and awareness activities from Trees New York, SacredWaters, and Embodied Learning, as well as compass work and orienteering with wilderness guide Sam Combs. Earth Living Skills will pop up on-site to share primitive skills and exercises such as flint-knapping and cordage, camouflage, and bowdrill making. In addition, local organizations will share their upcoming outdoor programming, and attendees can enjoy a Native American cultural presentation from the First Nations People of the Americas with Tecumseh Ceaser Matinecock, and Wampanoag Pokanoket and Chief Reggie Herb Dancer Ceaser of the Matinecock tribe Turkey Clan, with hoop dancer Donna Kolm and the Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe.

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here’s also a great article (with lots of amazing photos!) that was published in this month’s issue of BORO MAGAZINE and online at QNS.com about this year’s socrates season, celebrating our vibrant history and charging forward into the future . . .

Looking toward the next 30 years, the team at Socrates hopes to continue its growth and uphold its mission to serve its community. They hope to bring in more cultural organizations and artistic mediums and expand their audience.
Dimola said that the goal is “for everyone to see themselves represented in Socrates and see it as a place that they can belong- no matter if they grew up here or just moved here, what income what background, what ethnicity.”

hhf-heart

don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or want to get involved or work together this spring/summer! i will pretty much be pitching a tent to live in the wilds at socrates, running around like a loon, and working on my book ;)

can’t wait to see you all out & about in the sunshine . . .

THANK YOU AS ALWAYS for your love, fire, and support!

XO

a.

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when asked-
what would you save from
a house on fire?
i say-
a torch,
the fire.
me.

hello out there my beauties!

it’s INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY during WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH and i feel very lucky to have been asked to perform for three wonderful shows coming up very soon..

* i’ll be performing ‘reliquary: the body’ and giving a keynote speech as an artist in public service at the 2nd annual CELEBRATING QUEENS WOMEN ARTISTS event curated by the ever-enchanting joan becht willette at queens council on the arts in astoria THIS FRI 3/10! a multidisciplinary show featuring some of the brightest lady-lights in queens [more info]

* i’m a special featured performer at the 5th annual MDAD WOMEN EMPOWERMENT EVENT curated by the powerhouse melimel at la maison d’art in harlem SAT 3/18! featuring panelists, giveaways, networking, hors d’oeuvres/drinks/dessert! ALSO- check out the brand new #WE2017 promo video we just shot last night at socrates! [more info]

* and i’m so happy to have been invited to jump in to new friend samantha kuhl’s NEVERTHELESS: A NIGHT OF NASTY WOMEN at el barrio’s artspace PS 109, TUES 3/28! another multidisciplinary show rallying for the cause and showcasing fiery women performers and artists [more info]

before that-

i’ll also be hosting for QUEENS’ LONGEST RUNNING READING SERIES, BOUNDLESS TALES this THURSDAY 3/9 at the local NYC in long island city- i say over and over again that boundless is where i got my real start in the queens literary community and with hosting, and i am forever grateful. if you’re a writer you should submit your work for consideration to be featured by the founder aida zilelian, who is a fantastic writer and curator i have always admired. [more info]

* * *

‘well aren’t you a fascinating creature,’
he mouths through mists of drink and i don’t think
he recognizes the perceptivity of that word choice
and no, i don’t mean fascinating- i mean
the other word, the one reserved
for the feathered and furred and
women like me whose bones
sing songs like fires
in the landscape

in my belly there is a house in
flames and i lit it
those rarities of space in which
we can stand inside our nakedness
human incantation of the wild
woman, incarnation of the
burning
she was the one who
taught him
he never saw
the body as an altar
how to nourish a universe
with your own blood, selfless-
WOMAN-
you need no scripture
to remind you
what is inherently
yours.

* * *

also wanted to share with you-

my beloved SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK is running an OPEN CALL / CALL TO ACTION for our famous BROADWAY BILLBOARD above our main gate. do YOU have an idea/photograph/design/drawing/piece of art/etc that you’d like to see up there?! we’re looking for ideas that relate to democracy and american identity, and you can find more about it RIGHT HERE (DEADLINE APRIL 15!)

MORE EVENTS COMING UP like inspired word NYC’s much-anticipated COFFEED open mic reunion and their fantastic QUEENS LIT FEST can always be found HERE on the events page.

some sound + vision…

i’ve had amazing time performing lately for beautiful artists affiliated with LIC ARTS OPEN and the LIC-A LONG ISLAND CITY ARTISTS groups, two of which were captured on video:

* “LUMINOUS ANIMAL” & “SOMEWHERE ELSE” at the ‘what is human?’ exhibition opening

* and “A MEMORY IS ALTERED EVERYTIME YOU RECOLLECT IT” a dance and poetry piece with gorgeous alvin ailey dancer artemis stamouli at the ‘8 LOVES’ valentines day show

next…?

i’m working on finishing up the socrates calendar for you all this month (season announcement in april! let me know if you’re interested in volunteering and i’ll hook you up!) and we’re going to have a rad, rad summer at the park.

i would also love to do a reprise of the art & mental health/mental illness show HOW WE CREATE & HOW WE COPE which was one of the proudest moments of my curatorial, artistic and HUMAN life in general. THANK YOU to all who were there in the room that night, it was beyond me..

* * *

but i am self-willed.
the word wild is a contraction of
the word willed
and this is self-willed land
this is
bones cleaving so
shoulders can crack and
wings can breathe,
fanned full against the space-
inward, seeking wonder!
i said i saw myself
in the ground
he said, in the gesture is
the treasure, what
do i want my fellow
souls to remember?
see me as the movement
of standing up out of
your own grave
icarus returned as
the messenger
they plucked my
heart from
inside the ribs
of lazarus
i said
my
womanhood is
wilderness
and i will never
apologize
for that.

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foto by the amazing george mcclintock

ever,

XO

a.

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hello beautiful people,

especially in these times, it is so necessary for us to remember why we do the things we do. to reach out, to stay loving, to stay shining beacons- of hope, togetherness, ferocity, bravery, gentleness, gratitude, wildness, inclusivity, wonder.

this has been so helpful to me:

and every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘this is important! and this is important! and this is important! you need to worry about this! and this! and this!’ and each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, ‘no. this is what’s important.’ -iain s. thomas

it is up to YOU. it is up to US.

i wanted to invite you to some opportunities to do just THAT, going forward…

* i am officially director of public programs at my beloved socrates sculpture park! our 2017 season will be announced in early april and i am beyond excited to welcome you to- or hopefully, BACK to!- this exceptionally special wonderland on the LIC waterfront. FREE public programs from concerts to yoga to art-making to festivals to dance to making and learning- for ALL.

* i am hosting and curating an event that is extremely close to my heart next month, featuring a bunch of brave souls i know and love.

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HOW WE CREATE & HOW WE COPE:
intersections of art & mental health/mental illness
fri february 10 6:30-8:30 at queens council on the arts in astoria

Queens native and poet/curator Audrey Dimola hosts a panel and performance evening aiming for safe space, honest talk, and open presentations about the too-often stigmatized topic of mental illness, particularly in connection to the creative experience.

Throughout our cultural history, many of the legendary artists we know today grappled in this way- yet it becomes a passing line in their bio, a tragic footnote; and their brilliant work remains. In the present day, an increasing number of individuals of all ages are struggling in similar fashion, frequently in silence and shame, for fear of judgment and unanswered questions.

How much of how we suffer makes us who we are and results in the art we create? How much of these feelings are the natural experience of the artist, and when is it time to seek help? What do those forms of help look like?

A variety of local featured artists will present their stories, poetry, visual art, and more, in addition to facilitated discussion, Q&A, and sharing of resources/experiences on these topics.

here is the facebook invite, and the registration link at queens council on the arts- tix are $5.

* a deeply personal piece of mine in the vein of poetic theatre debuted at the end of last year at the LIC-A winter gala, and was thankfully captured on film. it’s called reliquary: the body and if you’re so inclined, you can watch it HERE.

* also coming up…

2/2/17 – Featured artist on City World Radio on International Women Artists’ Salon’s Salon Radio program discussing HOW WE CREATE & HOW WE COPE, listen LIVE online at cityworldradio.com, 8-8:55pm EST
2/11/17 – Featured poet at Cyrus Second Saturdays Poetry Series in Bay Shore, Long Island
2/14/17 – Performing “a memory is altered everytime you recollect it” with Alvin Ailey dancer Artemis Stamouli at LIC-A’s Valentine’s Night opening of their Feb/March exhibition, 8 Loves. 6-10pm at the Plaxall Gallery in LIC
3/9/17 – Hosting Queens’ longest running reading series, Boundless Tales, at The Local NYC in Long Island City, 7-8:30pm
3/10/17 – Featured poet at the 2nd annual Celebrating Queens Women Artists event curated by Joan Willette at Queens Council on the Arts in Astoria, 6:30pm
3/18/17 – Featured poet at MDAD presents 5th Annual Women Empowerment Event in Harlem, 6pm
3/24/17 – Performing at Inspired Word NYC’s Pre-Queens Lit Fest Open Mic at COFFEED in Astoria/LIC, 6:30-9:30pm
4/1/17 – Featured poet at Line Break Reading Series at Q.E.D. in Astoria, 3pm
4/30/17 – Featured poet at Inspired Word NYC’s annual Queens Lit Fest in Long Island City, 6pm

you can always check the events page on this website for more details and the latest.

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so**

i am setting off on a very long bus ride to chicago tonight to explore, visit some old friends, and see a band that helped me instrumentally in continuing to fight for my journey and return to my purpose in the darkest moments i have lived through thus far. in fact, sometimes his voice was the only voice that was able to reach me.. if you’ve never heard of NAHKO & medicine for the people, please look them up. i first heard this song played on acoustic guitar while i was living on growing heart farm in summer 2015, the summer i chose to change my life- and immediately it fused with my heart. it has comforted me immensely, and i hope, if you listen to it, it comforts you too.

i pray:

MAY ALL BEINGS STAY CONNECTED TO THEIR INNER FIRE,
BURNING AWAY IMPURITIES, ADDING TO THE COLLECTIVE FLAME,
AND STAYING CLOSE TO WHAT MAKES THEM FEEL MOST ALIVE.

loving you all with brightness, fierceness, and
thanking you for what makes you, you

XO

a.

17.

Posted on: January 6, 2017

hello, my friends and loves and wild kindreds. here we are.

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i wrote this at the end of 2016:

many things have happened to me this year, i have caused many things to happen this year. some of the greatest triumphs, some of the deepest lows. this is what i learned: each day we are asked to hold a candle up against the things and people we love, in order to truly see them. to remember how to see them. but it is a definitive action, a powerful choice. an interaction, not passive. this is how the light works. sometimes our habitual or learned choice is darkness. we cannot always resemble the decisiveness of fire or the horizon or blades of grass. or soaking rain. we must make a choice, a conscious choice. for what we want to be, what we want to bring. to choose to heed or ignore the question posed to us, everyday. because whether or not we listen, the question is always there. will you hold up your candle to see things as they are? things and people worth fighting for. you, yourself, worth fighting for. it takes action. and i wish your body and soul recognition of that eternal, inherent movement, and the power in it. that no matter how much we recede into the darkness- hide, seethe, recoil, hurt. there is always potential to return the pendulum swing, call back the eternal question. back to the light. #happynewyear

**

what else?

the debut of reliquary: the body was my last performance of 2016 (you can read the full piece HERE), with amazing fotos by geo geller below…

it was something totally different for me, edges i need to continue pushing and playing with.

i cried when this was over and i cried into the mirror before it started. everything screamed in my head not to trust. i was more nervous than i can remember being for a performance in so, so long. i released the deepest and darkest. the cracked doorways and red sheets. it was done. and i just lost myself inside it. i seldom memorize my work, get stuck on perfection or fear of forgetting words, and just forget what’s possible in the visceral. this is what’s possible. to just give it, fully. and let it go. thank you with my whole heart to edjo wheeler & LIC-A and everyone who watched me debut ‘reliquary: the body.’ everyone who was moved. it was beyond me. i know that through everything, i just have to continue pushing. #thankyou

this is the video by bill hopkins which i feel so lucky to have…

and this

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1.1.17 first day of the world:

some days you ride with the current. swiftly, effortlessly. the earth seems peopled with feelings, with presence. walking alone is not walking alone. it is not being afraid. not feeling the passage of time. i remember, now, walking this bridge under delicate slice of crescent moon, cars roaring. how it felt to walk the woods alone. stand on the edge of the road at night. sit in the field, watch vultures circling. i fear again and again i will be robbed of myself. but it is just a matter of slipping back into the stream. nothing gained, nothing lost. resuming, pulse of the infinite. onward, and on.

**

find me, here [upcoming events]

including- something very close to my heart:

HOW WE CREATE/HOW WE COPE:
intersections of art & mental health/mental illness

Friday, February 10th, 6:30-8:30pm
at Queens Council on the Arts’ LAB space in Astoria [Facebook invite]

Queens native and poet/curator Audrey Dimola hosts a panel and performance evening aiming for safe space, honest talk, and open presentations about the too-often stigmatized topic of mental illness, particularly in connection to the creative experience. Throughout our cultural history, many of the legendary artists we know today grappled in this way- yet it becomes a passing line in their bio, a tragic footnote; and their brilliant work remains. In the present day, an increasing number of individuals of all ages are struggling in similar fashion, frequently in silence and shame, for fear of judgment and unanswered questions. How much of how we suffer makes us who we are and results in the art we create? How much of these feelings are the natural experience of the artist, and when is it time to seek help? What do those forms of help look like? A variety of local featured artists will present their stories, poetry, music, visual art, and more, in addition to facilitated discussion, Q&A, and sharing of resources/experiences on these topics. All are welcome, your voice is encouraged.

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1 is the year of completion,

(with gratitude for you always)

XO

a.

i will not die like this, the girl said.
and so, she didn’t.

the black wolf’s voice hung in the air, the char emanating from his fur melting the snow in a tiny pure circle around him.

she said she would not die and so she didn’t.

the girl was silent.
ragged from crying.
someone pressed their breath into a ram’s horn miles in the distance.

this is a choice i don’t have anymore.
she remembered his words.

how long had she been walking in multiple worlds?

two years had gone by, trying to bleed out the wound or tie it off, sometimes simultaneously.

she felt entirely mad, most days.
the other days, she wasn’t sure.

her stomach felt hollow, sick.
the all-familiar headache that comes with unrestrained tears.

the ghosts were carrying her weeping through the woods, wisping around trees.

she wished they would just bury it.

the horn sounded again- a pure tone against the crying.

all untruth is rooted, child.
just as the truth is.

a house made entirely of fogged mirrors appeared to the right.

the black wolf motioned.

following the root always goes..
somewhere. sometimes. here.

* * *

i walked the perimeter of the house. where was the warmth, what was the memory?

you haven’t wanted to look.
he paused.
find the way inside.

my anger nearly doubled me over.
collapsing, i grasped a stone and hurled it towards the structure.

suddenly i was a little girl.
or at least that’s who i saw in the bathroom mirror. sitting perched on the sink, a faraway moment, blue walls between the color of sky and sea.

i never really look at you, do i? i said, running my palm down my face. i never do. i never tell you anything- ever.

just look right past you.

i was supposed to protect you.
a voice i couldn’t tell came from inside or outside.

i watched the girl in the reflection’s mouth move and i was holding the stone again, this time on the inside.

i raised my finger and wrote in the humidity, words i couldn’t place, prayers i had never learned.

the little girl was beside me. i took her hand.

why are you so afraid of this place? i asked her, the letters slowly dripping in the heat.

because no one has told me i shouldn’t be.

my heart clenched.

no one has ever told me i would be okay.

i just have to keep moving, we said in unison- the words slipped to the ground and collected at our feet.

i didn’t want to cry anymore that night. i couldn’t tell whose voice, mine or hers.

we stood, looking at each other, infinite reflections in unfogged glass.

i lit a candle.

it pierced the endless like a burning star, streaking.

i placed her hands beneath mine on the wax.

you are okay. i am okay.
we are safe.
we are safe.
we are safe.

the horn blew again and i was outside mid-hurl with the rock. startled, i stopped, dropping it into the snow.

the house had dissolved and there were letters all over the ground. the little girl was picking them up.

i rushed to her.

we will make a new home, i said, kneeling. and the black wolf smiled softly in the shadows, stark against the landscape.

don’t be scared, i whispered, my hand on her head.

we will put these words up somewhere else.
we will make them say beautiful things.

the little girl nodded, a slight glow returned to her face. i turned and looked for the black wolf, seeing nothing.

the ghosts were burying the cries, returning them to earth.

i took her hand.

i will not die like this, i said into the air. laughter of young ones and animals curled in the distance.

and so she didn’t. the little girl squeezed my hand. we began to walk.

[see the previous parts of this story]

* * *

happy winter solstice.
happy return of the light.

in this night of seemingly endless darkness, i offer this.

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a beginning, a discovery.

see you, here.

XO

a.

Into the wild wonderland…

Celebrated as "a wildfire in a world of fluorescent bulbs" and a "poetic force of nature," Queens, NYC native Audrey Dimola is a poet, performer, curator, connector, and lifelong artist, as well as Director of Public Programs at Long Island City's Socrates Sculpture Park. // Thanks so much for stopping by! You'll find all my work on this website, past and present, as well as new blog posts. Poetry, prose, videos, events, photos, articles - it's all here. // As always.. STAY WILD, STAY GRATEFUL!

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ABOUT
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POETRY & PERFORMANCE
Poetry & prose, live performance videos

PROJECTS
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EVENTS
Full list of upcoming & past events

ARTICLES & MEDIA
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CURATING
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PRESS
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MY BOOKS
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My Books

I have two poetry & prose collections for sale, proudly self-published. Like what you read? Support an indie!

Decisions We Make While We Dream (2012)

TRAVERSALS (2014)

WILDLIGHT coming fall 2017

Compass Project Poetry Stickers

As of February 2012, I've been sticking my Compass Project poetry and prose stickers up around NYC & sending them around the world! Have you seen some? Want some? Find out more!