I very nearly did not complete my application to Next Generation Radio. I remember closing my laptop an hour or so before the submission deadline and thinking to myself nah, I’m not really the right candidate for this. I don’t have my own podcast or follow certain journalists’ work religiously. Furthermore, I spend a lot of time feeling angry at a lot of the media I come into contact with. With encouragement from my friends Rui and Salu, I completed the application all the while thinking why would a news media giant give a second thought to a pessimistic poet? 

I was accepted to this program the same day a poetry collection of mine was rejected from a contest.This coincidental timing became an opportunity for me to expand the expectations I have of my own creativity. 

This week, I learned that an abstract idea can be brought to life through clear communication, that mixing audio is like conducting a choir, and that while BTS is a boyband, it is also short for ‘behind the scenes.’ Most of all, I learned that whether I am dancing or doodling or stitching sound clips of crickets together, it is all coming from the same place in me and my impulse to tell stories.  

Storytelling is a monumental responsibility. Those of us concerned enough to notice then dance/paint/write/cook/arrange a symphony about it must, as we say in Trinidad, come good. Next Generation Radio came good. Sincerely, this past week was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I enjoyed being pushed outside of my comfort zone, gaining practical skills from professionals in the journalism field, as, of course, I felt super cool with over-the-ear headphones squinting at the audio editing software. Most of all, I was struck by the care with which all the members of this project interacted with one another and how excited everyone was to work together. 

I am grateful for the patience, and support of my mentor, Imana, and the work of all the sound engineers, web editors, artists, producers and co-participants. As this week comes to a close, I feel re-energized in my pursuit of creative opportunities and look toward an interdisciplinary career as a storyteller.