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Andrea Rehani, Writer

“I think poetry gives us both the person of the poet and the inner life, in a deep sense, of the speaker of the poem or perhaps the character we are reading a poem about. We also get to understand things in a quick manner. Metaphor, Aristotle says, is at the center of poetry and we see that all the time. One excellent metaphor can convey a lot of deep feelings behind it. One common metaphor in Arabic about somebody who is no longer connected to other people, might say ‘I’m like a branch cut from a tree’ and that tells you what that person feels or what his state of mind is or his power or lack of power in the world. It is making us pay attention to language, the person speaking the language; a language so compact that it says itself a great deal and resonates with meaning.” ~ Khaled Mattawa

Andrea Rehani is an Assyrian-Iraqi-American prose and poet writer. Her writing has been published in Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts, MAKE: A Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. She writes book reviews for Orion Magazine. For the last five years, Andrea has taught English and ESL to multilingual students in higher education in virtual and non-virtual spaces. Currently, she is working toward her PhD in Curriculum Studies at DePaul University. As a co-facilitator for DePaul University’s doctoral writing group, Andrea leads workshops for doctoral students in education, who, too, are educators. Andrea also serves as the President for Education Doctoral Student Association (EDSA). Andrea has served as a writing judge for the 2017 and 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for New York high school students whose submissions were poetry, criticism, and nonfiction. Additionally, she has been a writing judge for the 2019 and 2020 CLMP Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature in creative nonfiction and poetry. As a co-captain for Poems While You Wait, Andrea leads this poetry group when hired for weddings, street festivals, and literary events in Chicago. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Prose from The New School and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Northeastern Illinois University. Andrea lives in Chicago.

TAP Work:

"During my time with TAP, I have grown as an artist, educator, and as a human. For the fall 2020 session, my facilitators were Adriana Guzmán, Javan Howard, and Katie Rainey for the training workshops. Each of my facilitators played an integral role in my experience with other teaching artists. I learned from each facilitator in terms of their artistry and from their teaching artist experiences. Each workshop had journaling opportunities, care group discussions, and cohort activities. For my fieldwork concentration, I chose Arts Education Administration, which was facilitated by Katie Rainey. My fieldwork workshops provided additional support in the structure of nonprofits, project development, and grant writing. For my final project, I have written a grant that I intend to submit for a program I am attempting to develop in Chicago. Additionally, I attended valuable electives from the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable such as Beyond the Live Zoom Classroom -- Supporting Learning Through Asynchronous Content, Best Practices in Marketing for Artists in a Virtual World, and Documenting & Archiving Student Work for the COVID-19 Era. In addition, I attended panels with the Teaching Artist Project such as Get the Job: Resume & Interview Skills for Teaching Artists. Above all, TAP has given me tools as a teaching artist, as an artist, and as a human."

Most Memorable TAP Moment:

"My most memorable TAP moment was the first salon, which was an open mic night. This experience led me to connect with others in the TAP cohort who were not in my care group or my fieldwork thought partners. I experienced an intimate setting which was facilitated by my cohort peers. I heard spoken word, saw visual art pieces, and listened to musical rhythms and voices as if I were at a concert. I did not intend to share one of my own poems, but the space was so inviting that I asked to share. This experience was poetry, and ineffable in many ways. Further, this memory is one of my treasures from TAP."

Find out more about Andrea here:


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