Ama Birch got funding to talk to people in Ridgewood, Queens, hear their stories, and then make poems out of what she heard. Ridgewood is where Ama lives, and she knows it like the back of her hand.
This current work is reminiscent of her Ferguson Interview Project, a collection of interviews she made after the death of Michael Brown when she traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to interview people across the spectrum, from community activists to law enforcement officials, an honest important work. Talking to people is a great prompt for writing and Ama uses it effectively; she’s a pro.
In Manhattan, she gave a reading of some of her Ridgewood poems in La Plaza Cultural, a community garden that I am involved in on the Lower East Side. I recorded Ama reading there, so you have it here. And I’m including another reading that Ama produced as well. I encourage you to listen. Enjoy.
Images Courtesy of Ama Birch
You can check out Ferguson Interview Project here: