Contemplating Now

Episode 11: Breaking barriers | A conversation with Davelyn Hill 

“When I devalue you, I lose myself."

In this episode, Davelyn Hill talks about mysticism in community and the power of poetry to open the room and make space for dialogue. She also reads two wonderful poems, including one about a tree outside her window she lovingly named Deloris. 

Hill is the executive director for Speaking Down Barriers, an organization that builds community across divides through poetry and conversation.

"I'm wowed by the beauty of language and the ability of language to connect us in a way," she says. "Mary Oliver and I don't have anything in common, but when she puts the words on the page, we have a lot in common."

Hill has a masters in marriage and family therapy from Converse College and is working on another masters in creative writing with an emphasis in poetry. Alongside providing counseling services, she has led support groups, presented research, and conducted university presentations around racial trauma and oppression. She enjoys facilitating groups and retreats around grief and wholeness. Hill is also known as Davelyn Athena, author, poet, and intuitive painter. Her poem “Deloris” was published by the Plant and Poetry journal. Her poem “Questions” was featured online through Spark and Echo.