I can’t get over the week I spent in a tiny Colombian town for the 30th Annual Encounter of Women Poets. It was a week of many firsts for me. But, the biggest one was reciting my poems for the first time.

I could not have asked for a better place to do so. The encounter is different from most poetry and literature festivals in that absolutely any woman can get up on stage and recite her poems.  You don’t have to be published. You don’t need a degree in literature. You don’t have to be pre-approved by a stern committee. No. Any woman who writes any type of poetry can share her work on stage.

Of course, this means all sorts of poems are read. Many to the moon. But seeing an eighty year old woman recite a poem about desire made it all worth it.

Above is a picture of me reciting for the first time. I was terribly nervous. But when it was done, I learned a very important thing: nothing shattering happened. There is no before or after. There is just another moment to remember. One I plan on repeating.

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