Filling Gaps in the Poetry World with Aya Whitfield
Words by Danielle Irene
Published Dec. 7, 2018
As impressionable children, we often take the world for what it is and accept it. However, as we grow older, we tend to notice gaps and spaces in our world that make living a bit less enjoyable; gaps that could be—perhaps need to be—filled.
Enter Aya Whitfield. Whitfield is a blossoming poet based in the New England area who has made her mark through sharing her work on social media. She’s spent a good portion of her life filling the gaps in the world by creating her own solution.
The young creator found her voice in poetry. “I didn’t start writing poetry seriously until tenth grade or so, which is when I discovered an online poet a few years older than me whose writing really touched me.”
Despite a journey that would more than fill up an average resumé, she continues to write every day. The young writer recently founded a poetry network on the social platform Tumblr for women of color to express their sapphic identities, aptly titled “wlwocpoetrynet.”
On its origins, she commented, “I saw a space that could be filled—namely, a lack of a current group for women of color who are attracted to other women—and decided to step in to create that group. It’s a pretty relaxed group, overall, and there’s definitely a lot of different experiences that people bring into the network that make it a very rich space.”
Just like every other space in her life, Whitfield identified the incomplete and lacking. And then she filled it.
But don’t let that scare you. The poet is growing every day; working to fill the spaces and gaps and spaces left open by previous generations of humanity. If you take one lesson away from Whitfield, let it be this: no matter what your passion is, you have a part to play and a world to change. That’s the Whitfield way.
See the rest of the articles from issue four here.