*** You can download Pandemic Creative Writing. Escritura Creativa Pandémica Vol. 1 here: ***

I founded and currently direct “Poesía en Nashville” [Poetry in Nashville]. "Poesía en Nashville” seeks to create a safe, virtual space where the Latinx population can tell their stories about health, sickness, and the pandemic. Creative writing will be a means of strengthening the participants’ sense of belonging, and preserving the city’s collective memory during the social distancing period. Creative writing will generate emotional relief and, possibly, some extent of social healing.

The project is conducted principally in Spanish, addressing a gloomy reality: the Latinx population in Nashville, TN has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. According to the Metro Health Department, the Latino population had accounted for over 30.8 percent of COVID-19 cases by June 15th. A little more than a month later, the figure had gone down to 21.3%, but it should be borne in mind that the last census found that 10.4 of the Nashville population is Hispanic or Latino.  It’s not difficult to see the excessive burden that the pandemic is imposing on these ethnicities.

Poesía en Nashville's broader goal is to inform the debate around creative writing as a healing community tool during and after a public health crisis, including the current pandemic. 

After three workshops (summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021), the project will offer:

1. initial data that may be a starting point for more comprehensive projects,  and which may be used to inform public policies;  
2. a bilingual anthology that will be  given to all participants and distributed to various immigrant centers, clinics, and hospitals serving the Latinx community throughout Nashville and surrounding areas;

3. a study in which I determine how being part of one of the populations worst hit worldwide by the novel virus is reshaping the worldview of Hispanics in the diaspora;
4. final celebrations and virtual readings after each workshop to share the work of the participants with the broader Latinx community.