Aylin Barbieri made an impression on Father Spencer Reece, who also happens to be an award-winning poet. Abandoned by her family, Barbieri is one of more than 70 girls living at Our Little Roses Home for Girls in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where Reece taught poetry and English in 2012.
Reece has gathered a dozen of the girls' poems and interwoven them with an essay on his experiences teaching at Our Little Roses. The as-yet-unpublished collection is called "Las Chavas/Homegirls." Reece co-edited it with inaugural poet Richard Blanco.
Reece reads Barbieri's powerful prose poem, "Counting." She begins: "Every week, every day, every hour, every minute and every second that I pass without my family it feels like a knife trying to get inside a rock. I am the knife and the rock is my life."
You can hear Reece read another poem from the collection, and see the trailer for the documentary film about his work with the girls of Our Little Roses, at From the Fishhouse.
Reece's most recent collection, "The Road to Emmaus", was longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award. His first collection, "The Clerk's Tale," won the Bakeless Poetry Prize and the title poem was made into a short film by James Franco.