National Poetry Month Celebration
BIO: Jessica Nolasco is a High School Senior, an International Baccalaureate Programme Diploma Candidate, and President of the National Honor Society at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland. In her leisure, she crafts her passion for the spoken word. She’s been a member of the youth poetry group Lyrikal Storm since 2010 and is published in “A Celebration of Poets Anthology 2011-2012.” She recently participated in the Emancipation Proclamation “Freedom Competition” and the Rosa Parks Memorial and Breast Cancer Awareness Programs. In 2011, she won a speech contest from the annual Hispanic Youth Institute. In Fall 2013, Jessica will attend the University of Maryland College Park.
Where do you draw your inspiration from to write poetry?
Anything. I tend to write my poetry spontaneously. Anything I observe, whether something that has occurred to me or something that has occurred to someone around me. I tend to do a lot of introspection, and draw muses from past experiences. I attempt to look at the big picture, or at small corners of different aspects of my personal life, or from school and home. I challenge myself to be open to my greatest muse- the world around me.
What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry?
Poetry is not a box. It does not confine you to a small definite space of thinking. A common thing I hear is “I can’t write poetry because I can’t rhyme.” But poetry is so much more than wordplay. It’s exploration of thoughts. When I began to write, I wasn’t the best at playing with vocabulary and vernacular, but the more one explores their style, the more they discover. Before they know it, their vocabulary expands far beyond their expectations. Poetry is an art, and one can discover an unknown passion. Soon a threat can become a safe haven.
What is an interesting fact about you?
My favorite word is “Serendipity.”
Where are you from/Where do you live?
I was born in Washington D.C., but have been raised in Maryland. My parents are from El Salvador, so I’m Salvadorian American and I live in Maryland.
Who is your favorite poet?
I read and enjoy whatever I find that captures me.