Melissa Ferrer (&)
The Work of My Hands
Melissa Ferrer Civil (&), (she/they), formerly known as Missy T. Ferrari, is a poet, performer, organizer, and educator living on unceded Kaw, Kansa, Kickapoo, and Oceti Sakowin lands (KCMO). Rooted in the practical and the possible, their spoken word poems and songs are mostly responses to the world around them and their own internal journey. Melissa is the founder of the arts and organizing event series A Nation In Exile.
Melissa received a Bachelor’s Degree in both Creative Writing and Italian from The Florida State University. She has also received her Master’s of Education with a specialization in Urban Education from Park University. She was also long listed for the Palette Poetry 2021 Emerging Poet Prize. They are a Charlotte Street Studio Resident and a Chrysalis Institute Alumnus. Melissa Ferrer Civil is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Kansas City, Missouri.
A Little Introduction to my How & Why.
Dropping the honorifics and third person real quick just to talk to you. Heart to heart. You see that picture to your left? (or above if you are on mobile) How about the faint picture behind? Those are my friends. And I love them. I love my friends, which means, I love you.
After years of searching for God’s will and trying to figure out my role in it; after countless mental hospitals, withdrawing and reenrolling in university, joining a communal religious organization, living out of a van with some good hippie friends, and finally landing in KC, on my knees, I finally surrendered to the truth of not knowing anything at all. I discovered that God’s Will was that I was alive. I had been trying to shirk off God’s will for my life by trying to chase what someone else had or found, instead of going to the throne of God which is in my very heart.
Through Repentance (the pivot of perspective to help me realize that I had it all backwards), Accountability (The ability to say, I matter in my life despite what cards I’ve been dealt, I’m the one that’s holding them and I get to choose how to wield/play them), Surrender (the realization that I didn’t know how to play any of these cards or what to do with them, I just knew that I had them. And with claiming them I was able to hand them off to God, the Great Unknown, the Great Goodness of Life itself, to show me), Forgiveness (I had to learn this over and over again, forgiveness isn’t about understanding every facet of the situation, but believing in the goodness of life and change and transformation that can happen therein. Regardless of what we see with our eyes.) this can also be called Faith (faith being the process by which all of these can be done. when all you see is bad, so you align with your heart, and say i believe there is goodness somewhere, some how in the midst of it all).
What does this have to do with my friends? What does this have to do with you? The stirring of the heart is no small thing. It is a miracle in the making. Where God has always been for They are everywhere, Love is everywhere, and is that light which we bring to help each other grow and walk each other home. I don’t claim to know much. I’m not so foolish in that way… any more. But I do hear in my heart that MUCH IS POSSIBLE. That GOODNESS IS. And it lives in the midst of us, ALL of us. And that’s why I do what I do.
I write. I sing. I play instruments. I perform. I speak. I teach. I act. I entertain. I facilitate. I do all I can to help stir the pot.
If you have any questions. Or would like to have a conversation. Or would like to book me for anything. Let me know! I’ll be living and loving in the meantime, in between time!