Tell Your Story: BAL Scholar-Poet Jacilia Quinones

Writing is thinking. Writing is reflection. Going deep. Making connections. Understanding.

Writing is organizing, is planning. Is persistence. Revising, rethinking. Persuading.  

Rising BAL senior Jacilia Quinones reads and signs her poem “Earthenware.”

Rising BAL senior Jacilia Quinones reads and signs her poem “Earthenware.”

When Bronx Academy of Letters (BAL) opened its doors as a high school in September 2003, its founders – a dedicated team of students, parents, teachers, and community leaders – were united by a single idea: Students who can express themselves clearly in writing can do better in any path they choose in life.

Writing is a lever of change. 

BAL’s In-Residence program funded by Bronx Letters Foundation brings in writers, actors, musicians and activists in a creative setting to run workshops, as well as coordinate musical events, theater productions, social movements and a Writers’ Forum reading series, in which students convene to hear from professional writers of every genre. Students also have access to literacy programs such as Beyond the Book. 

Take a listen to this powerful poem “Earthenware” written by rising BAL Senior Jacilia Quinones and recorded LIVE @ BAL, a project coordinated by two BAL artist-residents: A/V Team leader Darryl Montgomery and poetry teacher Karla Robinson.

More on the Value of Writing…

            Research shows that even brief autobiographical storytelling exercises can have     substantial impacts on psychological and physical health. 

            Resilience is strengthened by recognizing that we are all experts in our own lives   and we all have something to share with others. This can be especially powerful for people who do not always feel that they have the chance to help others. 

                                                                        Sherry Hamby (Psychology Today, 2013)