Danyeli Rodriguez Del Orbe (pronounced Dan-Jelly) is a Dominican, Bronx-raised community organizer, writer, and spoken word performer. Her work raises awareness around issues of race, gender, and migration. She was one of four members of the first Bronx-based all Latinx poetry slam team, project x and her poetry has traveled as far as Aruba’s “Poetry is an Island” festival. She has been featured by Bronx Museum of Arts, San Francisco’s Museum of African Diaspora, and People En Espanol Magazine. On December 2019, she self-published her first collection of poetry, periodicos de ayer, a lover’s archive.
Danyeli is also the co-founder and co-host of loose accents, a Latinx podcast that highlights the immigrant experiences of the East and West coast. In addition to performing, Danyeli has been an avid advocate for immigrant rights, receiving the 2010 New York State Dream Activist Award and becoming a recipient of and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellowship and New York Immigration Coalition’s DREAM Fellowship. Currently, her community and artistic work centers the nuances of being both Black and immigrant.
Read Danyeli’s reflections on her work and experiences during the 2020 Define American artist fellowship.
“Upon returning to Los Angeles, after organizing in The Bronx, attending Black Lives Matter protests, and engaging in civil disobedience, I felt the need to write. But whenever I sat on the computer, I could not find the appropriate words to express the frustration and betrayal I felt from a country that had already robbed me of so much joy.”
We asked each DA Fellow about their lives, favorites, inspirations, and struggles. Read Danyeli’s answers.
✨ What advice do you have for young people who are pursuing an artistic practice?
Stop worrying about the likes, views, shares. Create for you and what you hope to see out in the world. The “clout” will come if you honor the art of doing.