Amanda Monti (any pronoun) is a cross-disciplinary poet, who works in literature, translation, radio, performance and scholarly research. Through playful research methodologies and a deep commitment to queer worlding and kinship Amanda lifts poetry off the page and into poetry as a practice of living with a sense of wonder, tenderness and care.
As a TA, Amanda wants to empowering students to use the art of storytelling to observe and inquire and subsequently create, partake and change society. Through a critical and active reading practice as well as writing techniques (cut ups, erasure, found text, automatic writing) Amanda wants to enhance students ability to write, perform and play.
Deeply influenced by the teachings of Audre Lorde and Donna Haraway Amanda is committed to create the kind of spaces in which we can open up questions, sensibilities, and imaginaries around more liveable futures that aren't built on war, domination, and extermination.
"I am a NY based poet and performer from Germany, with most of my teaching experience coming from university environments; I've become increasingly frustrated with academia as a place to "theorize" change, without offering many tools to actually "do" and so I came to TAP hopeful and curious to acquire tools, challenge my own beliefs and privileges and align my teaching practice with my art and politics. At TAP I created a Teaching Path around the themes of Utopia and Storytelling, and with the support of the TAP community and mentors, came up with writing exercises to try out in the classroom, such as integrating the writings of Audre Lorde in quote-mashup writing exercises. I've also participated at Social Emotional Learning conversations and wrote a blog on the relationship of poetry and SEL. Currently, I am working with an Indie Press, writing up teaching guides for experimental poetry, and hope to find more work as a TA with Young Adults in the coming months."
Most Memorable TAP Moment:
"In one exercise we were asked to share our creative "Flowers, Weeds and Seeds" with our care teams - a beautiful frame in itself to talk about achievements, challenges and all in between - but what struck me was the degree of everyone's vulnerability and honesty in answering these questions. It reminded me that courage and vulnerability truly are one and the same thing. I feel grateful to have shared space and learned from fellow creatives and radically courageous teachers in these many ways and it planted many new seeds in the soil of my work."
Check out the blog Amanda wrote, "A Classroom that Moves like a Poem: Teaching Poetry through a Social-Emotional-Learning Framework".
See some of Amanda's work here:
time is a ball
& elastic while the long dead, & the starved, & the pets & the petted
eat from the rocks & the scratches in pans
i burn rice things are so much more alive
things are so much more dead
than fits into the human heart
when i grow up i want to be
condensation i will kiss everyone
fully all at once forever
like the desert is most desert,
where it is not
i like to think that this is how love works, too
like the girl i love
trains my gaze to see what i do not
when she cooks i taste her fully all at once forever
i like to think that this is how time works, too
a touch letting that go
& keeping this
when i grow young
i want to be air
between ears rice boiled
in droplets of sweat
in all her salt
i used to live
in buckets of water.
21 seconds. next to an eight lane motor way
an old house. with one window. a new house.
eternal. like a can
surviving its own beans.
two windows. no windows. i used to tumble
in purple sun. orange.
still. big like silk
made of milky way
i wrapped myself around your solar plexus region
where i used to read the news
every morning and you’d say
i don’t want to know this
and then: i don’t know anything unless
like a friend
obsessed with painting light bulbs
i used to gather old coats worn by pores of skin
into a collage of light