"The Gathering" is a two day writing conference put on by Jacar Press. It is always a weekend full of inspiring workshops and readings, and I always meet fantastic people there. I met Jasmine at The Gathering two years ago, and I have enjoyed following her work since then. Her Instagram poetry presence is particularly fierce: "Stop searching for your voice in the throats of other people. Look within." Check it out!
"My aim is to let us black women know that we have value, worth, and a voice that is just as imperative as everyone else." Jasmine Farrell
Out of all of your accomplishments, what are you most proud of and why?
I love my comfort zones and staying in my cute, “my little pony” themed shell. However, in order to live the life I want to live, I have to leave my comfort zone and allow my passions to speak for me. Performing poetry is one of my passions. Jumping on a stage and performing poetry was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and one of the many accomplishments I am most proud of.
What are you currently working on? (This can be anything…some things that come immediately to mind are writing—a new poem or series, a story, novel, etc—arts/crafts, research, gardening, training, activism, etc). How long have you been working on it? How did you become interested in it/ where did you get the idea for it?
I am currently working on a novel and researching various forms of energy healing. I just recently started looking into energy healing, and I’ve been working on my novel for about three months now. I actually wrote a five-page outline for it. I am five-thousand words in, and I am already procrastinating like an undergrad during his/her finals week. The idea of my novel came to me in 2011 from a dream I had. I wrote the first draft two years ago and absolutely abhorred it. I think it was because I was rushing the writing process. I chucked the draft seventy-pages in. I’d rather have only four thousand words of a novel I’m proud of than two-hundred pages of a hot mess.
What issue are you currently most passionate about? What is the one thing you would like people to know or understand about this issue?
Uplifting black women is the topic that I am most passionate about. Malcolm X said, “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman” and sadly, that still bleeds out through media to be true. We have value. My aim is to let us black women know that we have value, worth, and a voice that is just as imperative as everyone else.
What book or film with a female protagonist would you recommend and why?
I would recommend Janie from their eyes were watching god. She has such a yearning to simply live. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks and constantly rebels against what a “mayor’s wife” should be doing. She inspires me to live my life without giving too much weight to people who don’t have my eyes or my heart.
Name one woman who has influenced you/ had an impact on you, perhaps as a mentor. Why and how did she impact your life?
Beverley Locke has had a major impact on me. She was my college professor, supervisor, and mentor. She taught me to address my issues head on in order to help others. Because of Beverley, I learned how significant it is to confront issues as they come instead internalizing problems.
Born in “the village” and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jasmine Farrell is an author and poet. She released her first book of poems in 2014, My Quintessence, about adolescent angst, self-acceptance, love and societal stances. Ms. Farrell's work has been featured in Poems from the Heron Clan III, FemPotential blog and AyoMag Online. Her second collection of poetry, Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis (PGAGD), about self -discovery, life transitions and de-conversion was released in 2016. You can read the synopsis for PGAGD Here. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.