The Nasiona Community Reading #2 (14-Nov-2020)

The Nasiona presents Community Readings, our monthly virtual series hosted by Mireya S. Vela.

During these troubled times, it’s important to come together to support art. We invite you to join us to celebrate the power of The Nasiona‘s writers, as well as the voices of talented storytellers from the wider community: Aïcha Martine Thiam, Deborah Taffa, Yolande House, Damien Tillman, and Cristina Medina.⁣⁣

Audience spaces are limited, so contact Mireya at for a link to the event. ⁣

Our invited readers will share pieces they have either published in The Nasiona, elsewhere, or a work in progress.

The Nasiona is a volunteer-led nonfiction storytelling organization that humanizes the Other by amplifying the voices, histories, and experiences of the marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten.

We look forward to seeing you at our event and welcome your donations.


Aïcha Martine Thiam (she/her) is a trilingual writer, musician, artist of color, an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press and co-EIC/Producer/Creative Director of The Nasiona. Her collection AT SEA, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize, is forthcoming with Clash Books.

Deborah Taffa is an enrolled member of the Yuma Indian Nation. Her writing can be found on PBS, Salon, A Public Space, the Best American series, and in other publications. Her memoir-in-progress won the SFWP Literary Award in 2019. She teaches CNF at Webster and Washington University in Saint Louis, MO.

Yolande House’s creative writing has appeared or is forthcoming in literary magazines such as The Rumpus, Grain, Joyland, and the Humber Literary Review. Her Entropy essay was selected as one of the magazine’s “Best of 2018,” and she was a finalist for an issue of Creative Nonfiction. Currently, she’s revising a completed childhood memoir.

Damien Tillman is The Founder and CEO of Divergent Thoughts, LLC. He’s an Educator, Author, Mentor and Executive Director of The New York Writing Club. A graduate of Hunter College, Damien earned bachelor’s degrees in Media Studies and Creative Writing. He also holds a master’s degree in Education from The City College of New York (CCNY). Damien works to educate and empower people so they can become the solutions to their problems.

Cristina Medina

Cristina Medina is a writer and teacher living in Los Angeles. She is an MFA graduate at Antioch University-Los Angeles and former editor and blogger of Lunch Ticket. Her poems have been published in North American Review, Gordon Square Review, Angel City Review, Hoot Review, and elsewhere.


Mireya S. Vela is a Mexican-American creative nonfiction writer, storyteller, and artist in Los Angeles. Vestiges of Courage is her work of collected essays. In her work, Ms. Vela addresses the needs of immigrant Mexican families and the disparities they face every day. She tackles issues of inequity and how ingrained societal systems support the (ongoing) injustice that contributes to continuing poverty and abuse. Ms. Vela received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Whittier College—and received her Master of Fine Arts from Antioch University in 2018. Ms. Vela’s work has been published in Hippocampus Magazine, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Not Your Mother’s Breastmilk, The Nasiona, Miracle Monocle, Blanket SeaCollective Unrest, and elsewhere. In 2018, she received four Pushcart nominations.

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