Christina Vega-Westhoff is a poet, translator, educator, and aerialist living in Buffalo, N.Y. Locally she teaches poetry and movement with Just Buffalo Literary Center, the Geneseo Migrant Center, and Buffalo Aerial Dance, and performs in the region.
Vega-Westhoff has taught academic and creative writing to students of all ages in both Spanish and English through the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, the University of Arizona’s English Department, the Tucson Pima Arts Council, Festival San Francisco de la Montaña, Centro de Estudios y Acción Social Panameño, and various community centers and K-12 schools in Panama, Missouri, North Carolina, and Arizona.
She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in English and Latin American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her movement studies include a 200-hour Hatha Yoga teacher training, a MomentOm Arts Aerial Yoga teacher training, and Nimble Arts’ Introduction to Teaching Aerial Arts training.
Her poetry and translations have appeared in Asymptote, Brooklyn Rail, Bombay Gin, Exchanges, LIT, New American Writing, PRISM International, 1913, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of Tzak: A Journal of Translational Poetics.
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To be mindful is to be conscious or aware of something. To write a poem is to make, to create into being. In this residency we will use mindfulness techniques to write poems and creative non-fiction to become more aware and more awake to the world and our ideas of the world. We will incorporate guided visualization, breath-based poems, wish poems, movement and meditation, drawing, listening, nonviolent communication, and more. We will read and listen to poems, and share original work. This residency is adaptable to curriculum and is suitable for all ages. Sessions will additionally include discussion of poetic craft and literary arts.
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This residency is designed to correspond to classroom curriculum on the local watershed from a science, social studies, and/or public health perspective, though this component is not required. Students will write poems engaging with the water cycle, and the local watershed, exploring and embodying the interconnected nature of water, world, and word. Poetry experiments may include extended metaphor, epistolary poetry, collaboration, movement, visual art, and more. We will read poems aloud by published authors and share original creations in class. This residency is adaptable to curriculum and is suitable for all ages. Sessions will additionally include discussion of poetic craft and literary arts.
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Western New York is a multilingual region. In this residency, students will celebrate and explore their relationship to the layering of language(s) and place. Sessions will include experimentation with translation techniques, etymology, sound, and monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual writing. Each session will involve reading and responding to poems, writing original poems, and sharing work aloud. Multilingual Poetry is adaptable to curriculum, includes an introduction to tools of poetic craft, and is suitable for all ages.