Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cristina Domenech: Poetry that frees the soul

Published on Jan 16, 2015
“It’s said that to be a poet, you have to go to hell and back.” Cristina Domenech teaches writing at an Argentinian prison, and she tells the moving story of helping incarcerated people express themselves, understand themselves — and glory in the freedom of language. Watch for a powerful reading from one of her students, an inmate, in front of an audience of 10,000. In Spanish with subtitles.
                                     --Ted:  Ideas Worth Spreading

I found the work, and this talk, from Domenech to be awe-inspiring.  Oftentimes in biographies and interviews, I have referred to her exact such work as something of a life goal:  to work within the prison system and enlighten prisoners the existence of poetry and literature; to teach them the importance of self-expression and self-creation, and how within the labor of self-creation a sense of hope is found, a new-found feeling of interconnection (from even the bunk of a jail cell) to the rest of the outside other people.

Of course, my life work (and my plan to incorporate poetry as a means of learning and self expression) within a given prison system has not yet been born.  This is a feat that must be carefully mapped, I do not as of yet feel that it is my time to begin this project...but I do foresee it in my future and am excited for the prospect.  Domenech has set the perfect, living example, of why this idea is so important to me and I'm so thankful for the brilliance, and bravery, of her work.

I was so happy to find this video on the TED website, and felt it was well worth sharing with fellow aspiring writers and poets.  I hope you enjoy it, learn from it, and are inspired by it!