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Erica Mapp

Years: 2009, 2010, 2012


Poet and artist Erica Mapp, originally from Trinidad, lives in New York City. She received a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, and an MA in Art Education from New York University, School of Education. She studied poetry for two years (continuing education at the graduate level) at Queens College (CUNY).

Her poetry has been published in anthologies and periodicals both in the United States and abroad. Her work has appeared in The Caribbean Writer, #29, #30 and #31; The Brownstone Poets Anthology; The Riverside Poets Anthology 2017; Cave Canem Anthologies XII and XIII, published by Willow Books; Mobius, the poetry magazine; 360º published by The Circle of Poets in Trinidad; Voicing Our Vision published by The Writers Union in Trinidad; Commonweal; Columbia Magazine; Lake Effect; and various other publications. In 2015 she published a chapbook, Crisis in Trinidad and Tobago, with The Feral Press, in Oyster Bay, Long Island. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2003, and awarded a Walker scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown in Summer 2017.

She is seeking publication for a poetry manuscript based on the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, and another manuscript about the urgent need to preserve the Caribbean rainforest environment. She has a manuscript of essays on symbolism in the art of Van Gogh also ready for publication. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and a member of Brevitas.


Crossing a Bridge


Cave Canem Retreat, Greensburg, Pennsylvania


Crossing a bridge that spanned a simple stream

I’d sometimes stop and take my time until

That wooden structure had stopped trembling.

And easing to my knees I’d stoop to see

The glittering Green Darner dragonflies

Make graceful figure eights in courtship flight.

Causing concentric rings, small fish would dart

Out of deep shadows into brilliant light;

And once I saw a red-tailed fisher fly

And sit to eat a fish plucked from the pool.

Swift as a wink that summer afternoon,

The wild pink roses and forget-me-nots

Carried me back to Auntie’s wedding day,

When she wore white and held a rose bouquet.