Airica Parker

Today Voices of CALYX is proud to bring you Airica Parker’s poem “Identity,” which appeared in Volume 28:3 of CALYX.

Airica Parker’s work appears most recently in Camas, Driftwood Press, CALYX, The Fiddlehead, and Lalitamba. The Poetry Foundation selected her as a 2011 finalist for a Ruth Lilly Fellowship. An accomplished performer, instructor, and healer, Airica makes her home in Colorado. Learn more at airicaparker.com.

What are you currently writing?

“Identity” comes from one of the central pieces that I am working on right now, Body Bridge. Body Bridge is a collection of poems that pursues common ground as an expression of compassion and curiosity fueled by my experiences as a healer, traveler, Christian Taoist, and lifelong environmentalist.   

Where is your favorite place to write?

My favorite place to write is realistically at my ergonomic desk and spiritually anywhere quiet and outside, especially if trees are involved.  

Which authors have shaped your writing the most and who are you reading?

It is difficult to short list the poets who inspire me, but Walt Whitman, Adrienne Rich, June Jordan, Joy Harjo, Mark Doty, Pablo Neruda, and Gary Snyder are among the names that come easily to mind. As a reader, I was recently impacted by H is for Hawk, about how a woman’s relationship with a hawk helps her survive enormous grief, and Hunger Mountain is on my nightstand – a must read for anyone who loves meditative language or has interest in Chinese poetry or philosophy.