Alumna of the Moment: Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez
Saludos to our first Alumna of the Moment in 2021, the fantastic Tatiana Figuera Ramirez! This IFC18 alumna is a poet, performer and proud Puerto Rican who brings Afroboricua magic to her work. Learn more about her below, or join us on IG Live @infullcolorus_ as we chat with Tatiana on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 7 pm EST.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your passions
I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States as a military brat. Growing up, I didn't feel like I had a stable home in the U.S., so I always found myself anchoring myself in Puerto Rico, which can be seen through a lot of my poetry. A good portion of my work centers Puerto Rican identity, culture, and landscapes which have helped shape who I am. On the same note of trying to establish stability, that's really how I found poetry.
I was trying to find emotional stability and peace. I found that writing was a healthy way for me to heal and to process. Eventually, my affinity for writing grew and I realized the power within the art. Once I found my voice as a poet, it became clear to me that my writing was not just for me, but it was about creating mirrors for underrepresented people to see their own reflections. One of my biggest passions is doing my part to empower others, particularly young women of color, who I feel are often pushed down and to the side. I do what I can to amplify these voices and share these stories that I feel are not often heard, but are necessary.
Aside from poetry, I really love being in community and enjoying that energy. I try to focus on maintaining my sanctuary. Whether it's by going to the beach or just lighting a candle, I find it important to hold your space and keep that sacred. Music, dance, and cooking are all things that I feel also fill my spirit.
What projects are you working on now?
Right now, I've been working on poems for a new manuscript. The first draft has been completed and I'm making some edits before reaching out to beta readers. This new project will definitely be in line with my voice, but will solely focus on the stories of women who have inspired me in one way or another.
I have also been hosting a few events virtually with the American Poetry Museum and Busboys & Poets here in DC. It has been different than in-person events, but fulfilling and beautiful because the virtual space has really broken the barrier of place in bringing communities together, which I can appreciate.
What impact would you like to have on others?
I hope that someone who encounters my work can walk a way braver, strengthened, and more confident than before. I hope they can feel lighter and more empowered to do what they want or need to do. I hope they are more aware and more conscious of our shared histories and their place in this world. Ultimately, I hope they feel inspired to tap into their own magic.
How has IFC impacted you?
Being part of the IFC family has been such a joyous experience. I love seeing women of color do their thing unapologetically and IFC has created a community for just that. I remember seeing my piece performed live and that was the first time I had ever watched anyone else read my work. It was a tender moment for me and IFC has truly been inspiring for me as a poet, but also for me as a woman of color.