Christina Vega-Westhoff is the author of Suelo Tide Cement, which won the 2017 Nightboat Poetry Prize and was published in 2018. She lives in Buffalo, NY, where she teaches writing and
movement with The Bird’s Nest Circus Arts, the Geneseo Migrant Center, Just Buffalo Literary Center, and Young Audiences of Western New York. She performs as an aerialist and dancer
and has choreographed works for The Affirmative Project, The Bird’s Nest, Buffalo Aerial Dance, Canopy Arts, the Indeterminacy Festival, Infringement, New Phoenix Theatre, and additional projects. Vega-Westhoff co-curates the interdisciplinary Open Mic series at The Bird’s Nest. Her poetry has been included in the anthologies BAX 2018: Best American Experimental Writing, My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry, The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide, and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, and has appeared in numerous journals. Her translations of Panamanian writer Melanie Taylor Herrera’s work have appeared in Asymptote, Exchanges, Ezra, Metamorphoses, PRISM International, Waxwing, and are forthcoming in Words Without Borders. 

She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Arizona and a BA in English-Creative Writing and Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her movement studies include certifications in Hatha Yoga, MomentOm Arts Aerial Yoga, and Nimble Arts’ Intro to Aerial Arts. 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 Panamá, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Arizona. For the last several years she has taught poetry workshops throughout New York state, in public schools during the school day, in afterschool and community programs, in summer camps, and bilingually in programs specific to migrant farmworkers and their families and in collaboration with nearby migrant education agencies. She teaches with an ecological, somatic, and multilingual emphasis. She volunteers with Justice for Migrant Families in Buffalo, NY.

Art Forms:
Ensemble,Literary

Programs

Mindfulness Writing

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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.  
Audience Limit:
30
Workshop cost (back to back):
$196.00

Our Water, Our World, Our Word

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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.  
Audience Limit:
30
Workshop cost (back to back):
$196.00

Multilingual Poetry

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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.
Grade Level:
Kindergarten-12
Audience Limit:
30
Workshop cost (back to back):
$196.00