I had wondered, ‘Do I have anything new or important to say? Do I have any talent in this area at all? Is writing more seriously, more purposefully something I should bother to do?’ And VONA has responded with a resounding, “YES!!! YES!! YES!!! Right now and always.  Poetry, 2016

Democratizing poetic knowledge and craft. Creating and holding a freeing, nurturing and supportive space for us to be able to take risks as people and as writers. Giving us opportunities to practice material generation and radical revision. Challenging us to think beyond what’s already on the page, to think radically about possibility and potential.  Poetry 2016

I have never been in such a nurturing and life-affirming environment until this precious week with VONA! The fact that we were all united as writers of color across genres also helped me grow as a writer, to better understand that I can carry my voice and my story across genres, across iterations and drafts of writing. I read poetry with my roommates, loved hearing the playwrights at open mic… Fiction 2017

I feel that I have been admitted into a community, of which I barely deserve to be a member, and so I enter into it the way we must enter all sacred places, head bowed and heart full of wonder. Fiction 2017

One of those lifetime experiences that have transformed my life and writing acumen. The loving energy, heightened awareness of POC creative magic, and sense of connection experienced at my first VONA will sustain me for awhile and ripple out in all my work. Travel Writing 2017