LATIANA

Yekaterina Gyadu (@yekaterrrina +  http://ygyadu.com/ )

Yekaterina Gyadu (@yekaterrrina + http://ygyadu.com/)


ABOUT

Latiana Blue is resilient (largely in part because of her mother—she birthed five kids without drugs!). She loves to laugh, and she loves to make other folk laugh. She also loves the glittery poof emoji and large hoop earrings.

Other than that, she’s learning to trust herself.


SOUL PROMPTS

Genuine positive energy feeds me. Everything else grows from there.

I’m inspired by trees and the shifting heat, light, and shadows coming from the sun. I also love when objects and/or textures on the street seem to fit together like puzzle pieces. I see this a lot in Brooklyn…

And last but certainly not least, Mama Blue inspires me to be more intuitive. She’ll recommend or give me books at certain points in my life that lead me through lots of discovery. It’s definitely unintentional.


Photo credit: Yekaterina Gyadu (@yekaterrrina +  http://ygyadu.com/ )

Photo credit: Yekaterina Gyadu (@yekaterrrina + http://ygyadu.com/)


BKLYNPROSE

bklynprose started out on Meetup.com! I remember sitting in my first post-grad apartment thinking about ways to unite women over poetry. bklynprose once had a longer name and lacked direction (heh), but I had passion, an entrepreneurial spirit, and enough courage to follow my concept.


Over a year later, it’s a hub for yawn-proof (!!) writing events that seek to connect all female-identifying and non-binary folks. This includes trans females and trans femmes. All events are centered around mindfulness, self-care, and mental health. I have many long term goals for bklynprose and the blog, and I’m duly prepared for the thrills, exhaustion, and jitters that lie ahead!

why writing workshops? what comes up for people during these workshops?

My simplest answer: I love talking about words, and I could do this everyday for the rest of my life. Language is always at the root of my happiness, though it often hurts to dig.

The best moments are when attendees openly discuss their stress, loss of connection to self, a need for stability, etc. It feels incredible to facilitate this necessary dialogue. For some, it’s their first time being so open about certain issues. I listen to everyone carefully and do my best to establish trust. I want folks to feel safe and supported.


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I feel most alive after completing a poem. I’ve learned to admire the process. I don’t worry if a poem takes months or longer to finish—it will mature with me.

MENTAL HEALTH

I’m really candid about my mental health journey. I was raped during my first semester of undergrad (fall 2010), which sent me on a painful downward spiral over the next seven years.

But when the shock settled in seven years ago, I told myself I’d be a voice for other survivors someday. I held onto this thought—the moment still clear in my memory—and have finally healed enough to do so.

Really, the only timeline that matters is your own. I started this journey the second I realized what had happened to me. I’ve been at the lowest possible points—suicidal and struggling with self-harm, severe anxiety, and depression—but I’m here. I’m f**king here!


BEING A WOMAN

Being a woman means being unafraid of my sexuality and the power that lies within that.

what do you wish you could say to your teenage self?

I would tell my teenage self to speak up. I’d also tell her that she’s awesome for having an individual sense of style.

My family moved to New Jersey when I was a teen. I missed the Bronx and the obvious diversity of New York, so I let my clothing speak for that. I’d wear things no one else was wearing in the small, monotonous city I went to high school in.

I was the first person in my school to wear skinny jeans… And I was told I looked like a boy. *Laughs.* Times have changed, eh?


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CONNECTION

To be connected is to share your authentic self with others at any frequency and in any medium.

I practice connection by taking pride in naming all of my group chats.

I also love getting onstage to read my poetry! It’s incredible to see people’s reactions from the front of the room. Last month, one of my poems moved someone to tears. That poem is titled, “I’ve got coffee, my books, and me,” and it’s about my experiences with homelessness.


Where can we find your goodness?

Instagram: @bklynprose

Mail: latianablue@gmail.com

Website: bklynprose.com + about.me/latianablue


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the connection corner