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Member Feature - Berly

Berly is a Puerto Rican bi poet that writes to free herself. When not studying for her MA in Public Policy & Administration she is writing poems or journaling. She describes her writing as reflective, powerful, honest, at times heavy, vivid, imaginative, and ever-expanding. She says "Writing frees me, heals me, fills me, and empties me." 

1. When did you start writing poetry?

My favorite subject growing up was English and I always enjoyed writing short stories to picture prompts. I remember writing my first poem for my high school literary magazine comparing life to a balloon. Once I started college writing became solely grade focused so I fell out of love with it. Then in 2019, I began writing pieces, I had yet to call them poems, processing some of the trauma that was resurfacing at that time for me. However, I would only write sporadically when I needed to release the impact of the memories resurfacing. Since March 2020 I have been writing daily whether it’s poetry or journaling. 

2. Why did you decide to start sharing your words on Instagram?

I joined Rupi Kaur’s first live writing workshop in March of this year and loved the pieces I had written. I did not want to share them on my personal Instagram and I had contemplated starting a writing account but just did not have the time or energy to do it. However, while in quarantine I had plenty of time so finally I started my page on March 20, 2020.

3. Your Instagram theme is beautiful! Did you design it yourself? If so, what program did you use to create it?

Thank you! I create all the graphics for my account using Canva. At first, I started with black text on a white background then got bored of that so transitioned to white text on a black background. However, that theme also did not feel like me so I transitioned into a taupe & floral background. Right now my theme follows a floral, taupe, and dark blue pattern and each slide is distinct in terms of font and style. I like it for now but I enjoy changing things up so when something new draws me in I am sure I will change my theme. 

4. Are you planning on releasing your own poetry book?

Eventually, yes but definitely no time soon. I have only been writing daily for a few months and I want to spend time getting to know myself as a poet/writer. A lot of the pieces I have written I love but I enjoy them existing separately and on their own. I do not yet feel ready to bind an X number of pieces into a book. I know when I am ready that the title, theme, and pieces will come. For now, I look forward to participating in a six-week writing workshop, Throughline, and a Facilitators Circle, both led by Desiree Dallagiacomo. 

5. We noticed your an interviewer and live host on another account. Can you tell us more about that?

Yes, I am the interviewer and live host for Heart of Quill an up and coming Feature Page. I was approached initially by one of the curators but at the time felt overwhelmed by navigating my page and summer job so I said I was not able to join the team. Then I was approached again a few weeks earlier when the two positions I have opened up and said yes because it was the second time the universe presented the opportunity so I felt moved to say yes. I have yet to host a live given my schedule but have been done two interviews for the page. However, there are some exciting things in store that I cannot wait to share with everyone!

6. What advice would you give to a poet just starting out on Instagram?

Firstly, welcome them into the community! Then I would let them know not to lose sight of why they write and what it does for them.  If that were to happen I would suggest they give themselves space & time to get to what initially drew them in. Additionally, to focus on genuinely connecting with others and not fixate so much about the numbers because it’s easy to get wrapped up in comparison. Lastly, everyone has a unique perspective, words to share, and that the community is big enough for all of us. 

7. Where can others find you? 

I can be found on Instagram @wordsbyberly

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