ByVanessa Mártir

Vanessa Mártir is a NYC-based writer, educator and mama. She is currently completing her memoir, Relentless, and chronicles her journey in her blog: A five-time VONA/Voices fellow, Vanessa now serves as the organization’s Workshop Director and the newsletter editor. Her essays have appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, Kweli Journal and the VONA/Voices Anthology,Dismantle, among others. In 2011, Vanessa created the Writing Our Lives Workshop, through which she’s led hundreds of writers through the process of writing personal essay. Vanessa has penned two novels, Woman’s Cry (Augustus Publishing, 2007) and The Right Play (unpublished), and most recently co-wrote Do Something!: A Handbook for Young Activists (Workman Publishing, 2010).

  1. I inhaled deep as soon as I entered Inwood Hill Park. The forest has a specific smell this time of year. It smells sweet and green and earthy. The bushes and trees are thick with leaves and the tulip trees have started dropping their yellow and orange blossoms. The petals litter the ground. I walked up the path and smelled him first—the pungent scent of an early morning blunt. Then I saw him. He had…