My name is Ariel Vidal. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona but was raised in New York City (where most of my family live). I am Puerto Rican and Cuban but I know more about my Puerto Rican side than my Cuban side, but to people who don’t know me I’m that “Crazy Egyptian girl” because no one can ever guess what I am. I am a writer, a gamer, a singer, a daughter and an advocate for equity. I have a degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Criminology and plan to be a private investigator or something in the investigative field. I am passionate about cultures and hope that my writing can encompass many people of many different cultures.
When did your love for poetry begin?
My love for poetry developed when I was in high school. I’m not a very expressive person but it was a lot easier to write out my feelings than to articulate them. I’ve always been a writer in high school when I went to El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice which promoted self expression and the arts. It was a small school and eventually, during lunch a few friends and I–who had written poems for classwork– got together and did a weekly poetry writing cypher. However, when I got to college and times got tougher for me with mental illness it reignited my passion for writing.
Where do you envision taking your writing?
In the past, I never envisioned my writing getting anywhere but in 2020, as I’ve gotten better and sought out treatment for my mental health I’ve pushed myself to get as much of my poetry out to the world as much as possible–in forums, through Alegria and at open mic nights.
If you could change the world through your poetry, what would be your message to heal the world?
Do whatever helps you heal. I can’t tell you what not to seek out and what to. Any and everything should be explored. People write what they cannot express out loud. Let the thoughts exist on a piece of paper instead of staying inside your mind. Poems are raw emotion and can bring healing to others through relatability.
What brings you ALEGRIA?
Alegría is a platform that allows for Latinx writers and people to have representation in mainstream media where we have less than 2% of representation but are consumers of 22% of media.
The LatinX Poetry Project is a poetic anthology with over 45 new LatinX Poets from diverse backgrounds. Purchase your book here.