About/CV

[Caption: Body poetik residency with young women at Tampa substance abuse recovery center, Rose Manor.]



For many years, Amber DiPietra was a social service provider for at-risk risk youth, seniors, and adults with disabilities in the San Francisco and Tampa Bay Area. LightHouse for the Blind, Laguna Honda Hospital, Independent Living Resource Center, Jewish Family and Children Services, and VSA Florida are some examples of locations/agencies where she has worked. In addition to her formal duties in services provision, Amber integrated her arts background in poetry, storytelling, and performance to create classes and groups for clients. The idea was that the arts could pick up where social services fell short. Practicing the art of self-expression in community with others could empower poor, isolated, or socially -marginalized clients to speak their truth, experience validation, and make new connections. Amber originally called her project Write to Connect and ran it at vocational rehab centers, camps for visually impaired kids, nursing homes, adaptive fitness centers for people with disabilities, and more.

In 2014, Amber received her certification as a sexological bodyworker and an adult, somatic (body -awareness based) sex educator from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality in San Francisco in 2014.  Since then, Amber has renamed her community -engaged arts work as the body poetik. It has come to focus more specifically on body-image, positive sexuality, and intimacy-healing via body work and creative expression. Her main clients, students, or artistic collaborators are adults with disabilities/illness/injury, trauma survivors, and anyone who experiences social isolation due to poverty or identity.  However, Amber does still offer arts -based body positivity (with or without age -appropriate sex ed) classes to youth.

Amber collaborates, consults, and teaches in -person or via Skype/FaceTime.





Curriculum Vitae


This CV lists selected publications, collaborations, and other projects specific to my arts career and my work as a teaching artist. I have a separate resume that details my employment as a disability advocate and service provider. Please ask me for a copy of the latter if you would like to review it.


Publications


The Force of What's Possible: Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. 2014: Essay entitled "As rigorous as a mathematical demonstration, as surprising as an ambush in the night, and as elevated as a star.", co-written with Denise Leto and Jen Hofer.

Waveform, 2011:  book of poetry/performance text, written with collaborator Denise Leto.

Somatic Engagement, 2011:  Compilation of essays and poetry from various writers and performers who base their work on issues of embodiment. features an excerpt from Waveform.
 
Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetics of Disability, 2011: anthology of poetry from contemporary writers with disabilities.


Various literary journals: Eleven Eleven, RealPoetik, Wordgathering, Monday Night, Tarpaulin Sky. Dusie (poetry collaboration with Valerie Witte), Prose and Lore, Full of Crow


Performance art, interactive presentations, poetry readings


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Pop-Up Poets Series: interpretive dance and poetry in response to a sculpture installation. This piece was also a commentary on nursing home conditions and the inert body. It invited gallery visitors to interact with my body and words, to actually become part of my ephemeral installation.


Axis Dance, an internationally known troupe of dancers with and without disability: volunteer performer as part of the Yerba Buena Gardens arts festival in San Francisco, CA. This piece was site-based and consisted of more than 50 dancers working with chance, flash mob, and adaptive postmodern dance techniques for differently-abled bodies.


Public dialogues/talks on my artwork and social practice activities: Poetics of Healing Colloquium, a series of talks by doctors, scholars, and artists; Humboldt State University’s Critical, Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies conference; University of California Santa Cruz’s “Emergent Communities” conference; San Francisco State University’s Poetry Center as guest speaker for public practices class; San Francisco Library for the Blind and Print Disabled as part of Litquake, an annual citywide literary festival; Naropa University “Writing, Thinking, Being” conference in Boulder, CO; University of  Arizona, Tucson Somatechnics conference; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor guest lecturer for disability culture studies class; Desiree Alliance presentation on magical realism and sex worker literature in New Orleans; Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in Washington DC, presentation on sex workers with disabilities; The Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL., “Writing and Intimacy” workshop.


Poetry readings at venues in San Francisco, CA: The Lab, Pegasus Books, The Green Arcade, Canessa Gallery, Books and Bookshelves. Poetry reading at th downtown public library, Tampa, FL.


Teaching


Write To Connect: a series of workshops and curated experiences for creative expression, especially for the disability community. (W2C is my self-designed initiative. I lead these classes at senior centers, independent living centers, rehabilitation centers for the blind/visually impaired community, and, recently, as a part of an adaptive yoga class for people with various disabilities.)


Adjunct at New College of Florida: developed and taught a course on contemporary, avant-garde poets of the San Francisco Bay Area. This was an online class which involved close reading and creative writing for undergraduates. I was awarded this fellowship from the New College Alumni Association.

San Francisco School of the Arts: taught a creative writing summer session for junior high students preparing to apply for the arts charter high school.


Runaway with Words: a series of poetry workshops for at-risk youth: co-taught poetry classes at juvenile detention centers, a school for teen mothers, and a preschool program in the inner city.


Arts collectives and writing jobs

Kelsey Street Press, an avant-garde feminist poetry press established in the 1970s: developmental editing for the publication of new books; blogging about new, experimental women's poetry; collaboration on sound project that collected the voices of women poets. 

Olimpias Collective, a disability culture performance and research group based at the University of Michigan: danced and created original poetry as part of the collective at multiple venues.

Proyecto Vision, a bilingual website for youth with disabilities: wrote several feature articles on youth with various types of disabilities.


Education

New College of Florida, Bachelors of Arts in Literature.  2001

California College of the Arts, Master of Fine Arts in Writing. 2004

Institute for Advanced Study in Human Sexuality. Certified Sexological Bodyworker, 2014

Our Whole Lives (OWL), Holistic Sexuality Education Certification for Grades 4-6, Unitarian Universalist Church, St. Petersburg, FL. 2016