On may 15th, Heather Derr-Smith from Cuvaj se met with an intergenerational group of writers, students and artists at the American Corner in Trebinje. There were students from Middle School to adulthood and the time together was very moving. Work was shared from U.S. poets addressing gun violence and war and identity, Jericho Brown, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and Ilya Kaminsky, as well as US-Romanian poet Alina Stefanescue, US-Albanian poet and translator Ani Gjika, Tara Skurtu, and Bosnian writers Selma Asotic, and poets with the Border’s Project at Strane. Students wrote nd shared their own works as well. They made poems of healing for a loved one, the earth, themselves inspired by bark and fruits and seeds Derr-Smith found at a medicinal market. Each person wrote their own healing poem and shared with the group. Many of the writers chose to write a healing poem for Heather Derr-Smith. Which felt like a blessing.
Published by Heathen
Heathen is a Poet and the author of The Bride Minaret (University of Akron Press, 2008), Each End of the World (Main Street Rag Press, 2005). and Tongue Screw (Spark Wheel Press. 2016). Her fourth collection, Thrust, winner of the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and was published at Persea Books in 2017. They are a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop ('94) where they studied with James Galvin, Jorie Graham, Marvin Bell and Mark Doty. Heathen is the Founder and Executive Director of Cuvaj se/Take Care a nonprofit supporting writers in conflict zones and post-conflict recovery zones. Heathen's fifth book, Ouskirts, is forthcoming from University of Akron Press in March 2022. View all posts by Heathen