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TATIP Anthology

Katie Rainey

Katie Rainey, STAFF

Tina Gonzalez, Writer

Tina Gonzalez has been writing poetry and creative nonfiction for over twenty years and decided to pursue her undergraduate education at New York University and MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, she is interning with the Community-Word Project, as a Teaching Artist, promoting social justice and understanding through her art form. She is also an ESL tutor at Sarah Lawrence College and a writing tutor at Westchester Community College. Her poetry mostly addresses what it means to be a woman of Hispanic/Latino descent, never fully fitting in with the inner-city Hispanic community, or privileged private schools. It addresses the violence inflicted upon generation after generation of the original inhabitants of the Americas and Puerto Rico and how the descendants are still trying to cope with the irreparable damages. Tina's works also explore the beauty and honesty of motherhood, both physically and emotionally.  

TATIP Work:

"During my time with TATIP, I have gone through intensive training to function successfully as a Teaching Artist. I have, experientially, learned the art of scaffolding and its importance when formulating a teaching path, as well as when executing each individual lesson plan. I had the honor of going through this training alongside of many talented artist from different art forms, and together we explored how to serve a diverse population, differing in age, culture, ethnicity, and community. Katie Rainey oversaw my time at TYWLS, where I received my hands-on training, in the classroom, and also experienced the importance of classroom management."

Most memorable TATIP moment:

"Groups projects and activities, during the training with TATIP, were not only the most beneficial educational tools we were armed with, but the most fun. Formulating a community poem from our individual poems was an excellent give and take process. Performing these community poems together and enacting what we contributed to manifest on the page was by far the highlight of my time during Saturday training. We were enacting, not only our creative work, but what we all came to TATIP to do: create and nurture a community by working together and supporting each other through art."

Read some of Tina's poetry here:

"I love how you…"

smell of my milk,
how it never washes off from your clothes &
stains your little bibs ivory

rest your cheeks right below my clavicle,
in the crook of my neck &
how I have to walk with a bounce &
sway as I hold you to sleep 

manifest the words of my sentiment;
present them on my page &
emit them from my mouth

scuttle in your sleep,
closer to my body
even if there is only a fraction of
a breath between us 

nuzzle into me after
giving me smiles throughout your
jibber jabbering giggles &
luminescent eyes,
leaving my chin to glide above your
feathery tufts of hair

crave my arms & scent;
how to you
I remain
unparalleled

 

"Los Cubanos"

Tony El Cubano lived across the street
He’d walk up and down the block,
leaving it only to go into the bodega
When my brother started taking his first steps
he’d teeter-toe and collide with the sidewalk, wailing uncontrollably
Tony would yell-

Oye!  Chica! Dejalo que se cayga que ese nene esta hecho de hule. 

He wore dinjy guayaberas & unhemmed linen pants to cover his pale veiny feet,
He’d prop himself up with his cane, puffing a stale Black and Mild & he
kept his white Kangal cocked low over his eyes
Inside his 2-family, sapos lined the shelves, covered in decades of crud

Tony Jr. lived on the top floor
He’d play his trompeta for all the bigtime salseros like Puente & LaVoe
His snakeskin cowboy boots were super tight so he’d tiptoe around Union City,
bouncing from one greasy spoon to the next, growing out his belly more & more
His daughter Jackie would visit on weekends & they’d invite me to BJ’s
where Tony Jr. bought me a calligraphy kit that I never used

Tony Sr. died & only Tony Jr. mourned
until he had to throw away years’ worth of crusty sapos & guayaberas
The house hadn’t been cleaned since his mother died 20 years ago
Jackie disappeared, leaving him alone with his CDs & enough sheet music to
wallpaper at least half a dozen neighboring houses

 When Tony Jr. died only my grandmother mourned 

Check out Tina's Lesson Plan she created with her partner Rabih Ahmed. 

Interested in TATIP? Find out more about our 2017-18 Program!

See more of our 2016-17 Graduates in the 2017 TATIP Anthology!

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