Orlando Ferrand


Committed to constant professional development engaging in both, the accademic dialogue and the artistic praxis as a permant student as well as an educator
Orlando Ferrand was born on November 8, 1967 in Santigo de Cuba, Cuba, and moved in his late teens to the East Village in the island of Manhattan, New York. An award-winning poet, writer and multidisciplinary artist, he is a graduate of City College and Columbia University. He received the Artist in Community Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)  and the Bronx Council on  the Arts (BCA) in 2015 and the  BRIO Award for Excellence in Poetry by the Bronx Council on the Arts in 2014. His memoir Apologia: Cuban Childhood in My Backpack, received a 5-stars rating by Readers’ Favorite in 2012, and was selected as the Book-of-the-Semester by Hostos Community College, CUNY, in the spring of 2012. Ferrand’s first collection of poetry, Citywalker, won the Gold Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Review and Award Contest in 2011. He also won the Linden Lane Press Poetry Prize in 2011 for his book La Otra Isla, (Spanish Edition). Mr. Ferrand has been a writer-in-residence at CUNY and Princeton University, and has taught workshops as a teaching artist and Adjunct Professor at BCA, GMHC, SUNY, CUNY, University of La Laguna in Spain, and University of Yucatán in Mérida, México. He has contributed to numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His opera libretto, Still Life with Daniel the Lonely Mutant and  his plays, Requiem, Balad for Kangaroos, Narcissus 90 and The Other Island  have been produced in the US, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. His work as a visual artist has been showcased in mainstream museums and art galleries such as the Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Luhring Augustine, Jenkins & Co., and Cheim & Read in New York City. He is currently working on a new series of landscape photography of The Bronx, mixed media paintings, and new collections of poetry, plays, essays and short stories. Orlando Ferrand lives in The Bronx, New York, with his Doberman Pinscher, Sookie, and Clio, the Maine Coon cat.
As a teaching artist, mentor, lecturer, writing and creative coach, I strive to find the balance between the rigour of academia and the spontaneity and free flow of creativity. If I were to tell you that I've found it, I'll be selling myself short. Such balance must always remain a dynamic and permanent struggle in order to remind me of the dual commitment to my own personal creative praxis as an act of freedom of expression and as a spiritual path,  and to my responsibility as an educator to forge spaces in and outside of academia in order to nurture the talent of all those seeking knowledge and instruction.  We don't choose our disciples and mentees, they choose us. Therefore, we must advocate for equal access to arts and education for all. 
The path that I've been following for years on end is the byproduct of my urge to create and experiment with ideas, colors, shapes, textures and lots of writing. It has been informed by my need to learn and master the tools of creativity in several artistic disciplines, but more important, it continues to intertwine with the path of my students and other artists and writers whom I teach and also learn from on a regular basis. Nurturing the creative talent of others is as important as the birth of new ideas that will germinate into artworks all over the world, making it a place where artistic freedom and dignity are neither tied to wealth or ethnic background nor compromised by any ideology or religion.