When Spence Middle and Upper School English Teacher Ana Silva isn’t teaching or leading the Middle School Poetry Club, she might be found writing poems of her own, many of which made their way into her recently published poetry chapbook, One Cupped Hand Above the Other, which is available for purchase through Dancing Girl Press.
“Poetry is often about what we don’t know, what we’re trying to understand,” said Silva. “Sometimes, it’s just about watching the changes of the world, holding space for the wonder of it. Sometimes, it’s about the need to slice through confusion, pain, error, terror, summoning as much truth and kindness as we have to offer.”
Although the creative process can be challenging, Silva emphasized that, “It feels like a little like I’m doing a puzzle, a little like I’m organizing my sock drawer, and a little like I’m painting.” “Over time, I’ve learned to enjoy the editing process, which, for me, is mostly about taking away words.”
“I love that I get to teach poetry at Spence at every grade level I teach,” Silva underscored. “My students’ poems perpetually inspire me, and sometimes earn well-deserved recognition.”
As an English and poetry teacher, Silva’s wish for Spence Upper School students is for them “to keep up their personal and creative writing as much as possible into and through Upper School despite their growing homework pile.” “Engaging with poetry, as with other art, clarifies, affirms, nourishes, inspires, energizes, and heals.”
Prior to publishing her chapbook, Silva’s poetry appeared in a variety of publications, including Podium, Rogue Agent, The Mom Egg Review, the nth position, Snow Monkey, Chronogram, StepAwayMagazine, Anemone Sidecar, Between the Lines, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Abyss&Apex, Shantih Journal, and Fairytales and Folklore Re-examined. Silva also received the inaugural Rachel Wetzsteon Memorial Poetry Prize at the 92nd St. Y Unterberg Poetry Center.
Congratulations, Ms. Silva!