Bianca Amira Zanella
I create a world of
collective compassion by
understanding my place in it
one poem at a time —
an adventure giving me
a present moment
to cherish and choose —
a new dusty day
among daydreams —
Today, I am
Welcome — let's connect.
THE PAPER POET
Bianca Amira Zanella is a queer Vermont-based performance poet, artist, and advocate living on unseated Abenaki land.
She is the Poet-in-Residence at Phoenix Books, hosting an international monthly open mic. Her poems have most recently appeared in The Artful Mind, The Rutland Herald, The Mountain Troubadour, and The Reverie. Their poem films, sculptural poems, and poem paintings have also been on exhibit with PoemCity Montpelier, Merwin Gallery, Stone Valley Arts, SPACE: a Pop Up Art Gallery, and Surdam Gallery.
In 2019, Bianca acted as Wellness Coordinator for the Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam (FEMS) tournament based in Cambridge, MA, and founded "Infinite Lit: a night of spoken word poetry." She wishes to lift up her community via poetry.
In 2020, Bianca founded The Paper Poet, offering healing poetic experiences to anyone experiencing suffering and continues to perform around the US and globally, including reading for the American Club of Brussels and competing at the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Bianca attended the Ruth Stone House 2021 Next Galaxy Poetry Retreat and was elected to the Presidency of Poetry Society of Vermont in 2022.
She continues to serve Vermont poets individually and partners with different organizations such as Social Tinkering, Come Alive Outside, the Henry Sheldon Museum, and The Mentor Connector. In 2022, Bianca completed certifications in WisdomVerse and Poetry as a Tool for Wellness with The Institute for Poetic Medicine under John Fox.
2023 NATIONAL POETRY MONTH CELEBRATION: DOWNTOWN RUTLAND & POETRY PLAZA ESSEX
We received 80+ contributions to Poetry Downtown & Poetry Plaza 2023. Thank you to every poet who submitted a piece and to the 28 businesses who agreed to host a poem in their storefront window: Masala Corner, Digital Repair Surgeons, McNeil and Reedy, Rutland Area Co-op, Phoenix Books, Mindful Monkey, GreenSpell, Speakeasy Café, Timco Jewelers, Divine, Alison McCullough Real Estate, Unlimited Potential, Mountain Girl Cannabis, Starlights Dance Academy, True Yoga, Camille's, Avanti, CCV, Curiosity Shop, Freeman Marcus Jewelers, Wild Kind Toys, Euphoric Hair Experience, Triumph Yoga, Handcarved by Ernie, Pyramid, Same Sun, Mountain Music, and the Bookmobile.
This project is sponsored by The Paper Poet & Phoenix Books with support from the Downtown Rutland Partnership. Enjoy the poetry tour!
MY MISSION IS
To decrease hardship by offering a healing journey of poem-
and art-making to increase heartship, empathy, and sustainability.
The Paper Poet affects positive change and supports mental wellbeing by deepening people’s emotional resilience and connection to one’s community while lessening their emotional numbness to the world around them. I strive to promote fully experiencing and expressing one’s complex emotions and perspective by living creatively, sustainably, and communally.
Reach out directly so I may design a unique experience for you.
The Paper Poet is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council
and the Vermont Community Foundation. Thank you so much!
"This [experience] was really very moving. It was like using a Ouija board the way the message flowed out. Such a fun day! I opted to bring a glue stick home to finish [my found poem collage] so they could get ready for the next event. Love, honestly; it is representative of my life now."
-Melanie Lincoln Potter, Poultney, VT
Participant of Pop Poem: a found poetry workshop
"Bianca led a very well-structured, holistic and powerful poetry workshop for our group, tackling the complicated topic of climate anxiety. Her poise, grace, and natural warmth exuded throughout the session and she brought out the inner poet in a natural way. I would recommend Bianca for anyone who is looking to learn a unique form of self-reflection and expression, either personally or in a group setting. An added bonus was her delicious vegan truffles to ensure we felt nourished afterwards!"
-Lindsey Berk, Brandon, VT
Good Grief Network Facilitator
On Workshopping In Shared Space --
"What a joy to have you join us in workshop. You are a creative dervish!
I so appreciate your warm presence, generous spirit, and colorful voice.
You listen so well to your own music. LOVE your Voice/Poetry."
-Meredith Heller, Northern California
Performance Poet, Singer/Songwriter, Nature-Woman, Educator, and
Author of Write a Poem, Save Your Life, Songlines, Yuba Witch & River Spells
"Bianca led a session for my high school poetry elective at Burlington High School. She communicated with me throughout our planning process and curated a session that fit my students. Her lesson plan was detailed and specific and met the needs and interests of the students. She has a warm and engaging presentation style. I loved the workshop that she led. She created inviting and safe norms for sharing poetry, listening, and receiving and giving impressions and feedback. Her offering was impactful for our students. Even my most shy students were sharing their thoughts and their poetry. It was awesome! I am glad they had a chance to meet a real live poet."
-CharlesDaniel Sheffy (he/him/his), Burlington, VT
English Department Teacher
On hosting Queer Poets' Open Mic --
"You are one of the BEST POETRY HOSTS I've ever encountered.
[It] was such a fun important event for Rutland to have; it's important
to live an authentic seen queer existence. Great you make space for that."
-Moonshine Shorey, Fair Haven, VT
author of Poetry Exit 2 (Little Vanity Press) &
Bowery Bartender's Big Book of Poetry (Bowery Poetry Press).
2021 PROJECT: POETRY
National Poetry Month, April 2021
We celebrated Poetry & Earth Month all April long by rediscovering our sense of place among the pop-up poetry path created by The Paper Poet in collaboration with Phoenix Books Rutland and Downtown Rutland Partnership. Over 30 poets had 70+ poems on display in 17 downtown Rutland businesses. Poems were on display through the first week of May.
PRESS & POEMS
Articles, Podcasts, and Videos
WINNER OF "WRITE A LOVE LETTER
TO YOUR TOWN" CONTEST
February 14, 2022
Come Alive Outside asked our champions and program participants to help boost the morale of their community, themselves and their neighbors by telling the world what they love about where they live, and they came through in the most delightful way! We read letters that made us laugh, cry and break into applause. Thank you to everyone who sent a letter. There’s so much love out there!
We received 57 submissions and declared 6 winners.
POET BIANCA AMIRA ZANELLA
ON VIRTUAL OPEN MICS AND
THE HEALING POWER OF POETRY
Viewless Wings Press / Poetry Podcast
Interview with James Morehead
September 21, 2021
*released on World Gratitude Day!
Read the transcript here:
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/viewlesswings/support
Support and follow James Morehead on Twitter @dublinranch and on Instagram @viewlesswings or on his website: viewlesswings.com.
POETS FLOCK TO PHOENIX BOOKS’
ONLINE OPEN MICS
Seven Days VT
Interview with Margaret Grayson
February 3, 2021
"In a warm, room-filling voice that defied the distorting qualities of video-call audio, she encouraged listeners to unmute themselves and 'hoot and holler' for the reading poets. She wrapped up her introduction in classic emcee style: 'Are we ready to hear some poetry on this full moon?'"
BIANCA AMIRA ZANELLA:
CHAMPION OF THE SPOKEN WORD
People Will Talk Series
Interview with RH Alcott
October 9, 2020
For Indigenous People’s Day on Monday, Oct. 12, she’ll be in Main Street Park, where if you prompt her with one or more words, she’ll create a poem just for you and accept donations to benefit Indigenous people by supporting food sovereignty. Visit bit.ly/BiancaZanella to hear Zanella’s interview.