"It will never be time to turn my bones with the bones of others you left behind. Hold me skyward and shout, I give you back to your life!" Cassandra Rockwood-Rice, The Write Launch 2020
Hello! It's my pleasure and passion to draw upon my roots, my world travels, and my educational experiences to bring written and visual impact to communities and the lives of individuals. For professional inquiries, such as readings, lectures, workshops, freelance editing, curatorial services, or visual art commissions please connect with me via the contact page.
Bio Cassandra/Kasandra* is a Bay Area based author and illustrator. She self-publishes an art and literary zine called “Rag” and coordinates a monthly womxn's literary reading series at The Beat Museum in San Francisco. Her award-winning poems and creative nonfiction have been published in The New Delta Review, Rip Rap, Hawaii Review, The Lifted Brow, For Women Who Roar, The Write Launch and elsewhere. Cassandra holds a BA from California Institute of Integral Studies and MFA from California College of the Arts. She is currently illustrating a picture book about the 17th century Edo Period poet, Matsuo Basho. Cassandra takes a particular interest in the Arab, Irish, and Luso American diasporas being of primarily Irish and Portuguese descent on her mother's side and Lebanese descent on her father's side.
Review from writer, Alexandra Naughton, 2019 “I needed help finishing my book, "a place a feeling something he said to you" and Cassandra Rockwood-Rice's workshop on writing poetic trauma narratives was an invaluable experience. Not only did the workshop give me the tools I needed to make the book work the way I wanted it to work, it also gave me courage to share my story as a way to help others to heal and feel less alone.” -Alexandra Naughton, (published by Spooky Girlfriend Press in January of 2020)
Commentary from Lori Desrosiers on selecting "Table of Contents" by Cassandra Rockwood-Rice for the 2020 1st Prize Common Ground Review Poetry Award: “Table of Contents” is a poem about survival and bearing witness. It is also about what it means to write about abuse and struggle. The voice in the poem speaks to the rebuilding of a life through writing about trauma, and also about how in the life of a survivor there are frequent replays of that trauma through micro-aggressions perpetrated by those who have not had the same experience. It raises some great questions through the use of anaphora/ the repetition of words down the lines, in this case “how.” The lines are crafted to cascade down the page and bring the reader both a visceral and metacognitive experience, coming back around in a circle to the table: the table of childhood, the table of memory. The table of contents questions itself, how to make this book make sense, and brings the reader back around through rejection to the final table of reckoning in “the light of day.”
*I use the pen name "Kasandra Ghanem", with my father's family name, for my children's picture book content. See the illustration page HERE