About Vanessa

Vanessa Mártir is a NYC based writer, educator and writing coach. She is currently completing her memoir, A Dim Capacity for Wings, and chronicles the journey at vanessamartir.blog. A five-time VONA/Voices and two-time Tin House fellow, Vanessa’s work has been widely published, including in The Rumpus, Bitch Magazine, The Washington Post, the VONA/Voices Anthology, Dismantle, and the NYTimes Bestseller Not That Bad, edited by Roxane Gay. Vanessa is the founder of the #52essays2017 challenge, and creator of the Writing Our Lives Workshop, which she teaches in NYC and online. She has served as guest editor of Aster(ix) and The James Franco Review. When she’s not writing or teaching, you can find Vanessa either on a dance floor, in a gym punching a bag or in the woods hugging a tree and talking to birds.

For more on her writing, check out Vanessa’s website at vanessamartir.com.

For more info on the Writing Our Lives Workshop, check out the website at writingourlives.com.

To contact Vanessa: vamartir@gmail.com


  1. Hi there!
    I have a quick question about your blog. Could you please email me when you get a chance? Thank you!

  2. Hi vanessa!! So my girls and I started a little book club, and we came accross you book! And will you believe me if I told you we read it in one week?!! I loveee your book! I have two questions for you, do you have any more books? And are you and Ruben still together?


    • Hi Gabriela! Thanks so much for the note and for reading my book. I was such a different writer then. It was after writing that book that I owned the “writer” title with pride.

      As for your questions: I co-wrote a book for young social activisits and have published several essays and poems since then. And, yes, I also have this blog.

      And, you should know that this book is fiction, so the story of me and Ruben isn’t true. It’s a made up story that was inspired by some incidents in my life and stories I’ve heard along the way. Hope that doesn’t change your view of the book.

      Mad love,

  3. I thought you’d might like to know that I nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog award. Congratulations! You can check out the link, if you want to participate, below. The link is wp.me/p3whOY-oT. Thanks.

  4. I just read your piece on Huffpost and I wanted to thank you for writing this. It is fucking hard to be a single mom, even when you have slight help from another parent being the only is a burden that only a single parent can know. I want you to know you are not alone and you are doing a fantastic job. It is hard but someday it will be worth it. Sending all of my support your way for the days when others don’t get it.

    • Thanks for reading and sending this lovely note. I am truly grateful. And, yes, it is hard but it’s already worth it. My ten year old is quite amazing. I just caught her reading her book by flashlight under her covers. I did the same when I was her age. I can’t be mad. Though I gave her a stern “it’s time for bed! You have five minutes.” And I smiled wide when I turned away. 🙂


  5. Your piece on Huffington Post was very honest and beautiful and pure. It really took me back to when my daughter was younger, during my days as a single mother. She graduated from Brown University last year with a Theatre Arts degree and is doing very well. If you’d have told me then that I’d be standing here, I would never have believed you. But I am. I am.
    Feel free to holla if you ever want to chat. You can hit me up on Facebook and I’ll give you my personal deets.

    • Im having a freak out, OMG moment. Your essay that I cited in my piece helped me through a really dark time in my life. I’m honored to receive this message. Now excuse me while I pass out! Ha!

      • You’re sweet. Thank you. I’m glad my essay proved useful to you–just as your brilliant essay on single motherhood will prove useful to many who read it. I look forward to speaking with you. Keep writing and telling your truth.

  6. Just read your Huff Post piece about your mom, Millie. It was beautiful. I will be thinking about it for days to come. Thank you for writing and sharing.

  7. Hello Venessa,
    So delighted to have met you on Huff Post and your Blog, for almost 80 years, I’ve huffed and puffed and haven’t been able to blow down that one -room shack in Mississippi where I was born, into a family of 8, then 3 oops babies made eleven- 5 boys and 4 girls slept together in just 3 beds, and probably the boy’s heads filled with incest dreams, and papa incest thoughts a reality…

    In my old age, I feel safe saying this to you…
    Again, I thank you!

  8. As a Dominican Guyanese woman who is also an ABC scholar (Andover, 04!) I just wanted to come here and say THANK YOU for your piece. Ive shared with tons of friends and we all feel like youve given a voice to our thoughts! Do you do speaking engagements? Would love to chat with you about some potential opportunities!


  9. Hi Vanessa 🙂 I’m a newbie in starting my blog. Can you help me in setting up my blog? How to put those labels on top of your blog (Home, Inspiration, Articles, Who I Be..etc) I can’t find it where it is placed 😦

  10. I found the follow button lol
    I’m sorry; i just stumbled upon your piece about your brother saying he was a “sin” & the piece hit home in so many different ways. As much as i want to read more of your writing, i am not emotionally able until i have given my son (his father put sleeping pills in vodka; my son was conceived while i was unconscious) a huge hug.
    So please disregard my previius message 🙂
    Blessed Be,

  11. Vanessa, I have just read a synopsis of your book and it has already pulled me in to the point that I have purchased it. I am waiting for Amazon to send it to me, but once it does I would like to speak with you about reviewing it for my blog. Could you please email me so we could speak further about the review, and so I can learn a little more about you for the review? My email is megynwrites@gmail.com. I very much look forward to hearing from you!

  12. Hi Vanessa! I discovered your blog yesterday and I am SO inspired! I’ve been working through a “story block” and just reading your essays / articles have been so helpful to me as a point of re-framing and recalling why I began writing in the first place. Thank you so much and I’m excited to read more! Best of success to you on your memoir process!

    Jade, Jadetperry.com

  13. Hi, Vanessa,

    Thank you for being such a dedicated and generous writer. Relentless is a testimony of gift and endurance! Fantastic!

    I’m a reader at Apogee Journal—you may already know a few of the folks who work there (http://www.apogeejournal.org/about/). And I would like to invite you to submit your work.

    We’re fans of your writing—your words, your flow, your honesty, your analysis of life.

    We publish two issues a year, and we keep our blog (Perigee) active all year round. In addition, we put together themed folios, like Muriel Leung’s curated response to sexual violence, and Cecca Ochoa’s and my collection of queer writing this month. (More here: https://apogeejournal.submittable.com/submit/60182 deadline extended).

    In any case, I’ll restate: we’re fans 🙂


    • What a wonderful message. Thank you for your encouragement and your praise. Of course I am familiar with Apogee and the wonderful work you do. I will absolutely consider submitting a piece. Let me see what I can come up with. Mad love Alejandro, always.

  14. Vanessa, your voice is beautiful and your messages invaluable. Thank you for being you and for sharing your stories with the world.

    – Ani

  15. Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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