Jacinta White (Poet)


What do you do for a living?

That depends on what you mean. Creativity is what gives me life, so I try to do something in that vein daily, even if it’s just in deciding what to wear. In terms of employment: I’m a corporate trainer for Forsyth Tech Community College (where I try to squeeze in artist approaches and components when/where possible). I am also the founder and director of The Word Project – a company dedicated to using poetry and creative expression as a catalyst for personal and community healing. As part of The Word Project, I publish and co-edit an online literary journal called Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing. That’s what I do for a living.

Where are you from?

I spent most of my childhood in Charlotte though I jokingly say I “grew up” in Detroit due to fact I graduated high school there (what a drastic change to move from Charlotte to Detroit in the 1980s).

What did you study in college?

Undergrad – Speech Communications/Public Relations. I also have a MPA in Nonprofit Management. It was after both degrees that I realized, at my core, I’m an artist.

Were either of your parents artists?

My mother is a retired public school Home Economics teacher and my father was a pastor/minister.

Why did you decide to be an artist?

I don’t think I decided to be an artist. It choose me and so I had to accept being an artist, which is something different. And it’s a daily journey – to own who you are, your voice and place in the world.

Why do you donate to the arts?

I donate my time and finances to support various arts organizations because I believe arts help us stay sane and vibrant. In many ways art is our way of expressing who we are, what we desire, what pains and heals us; and that expression – in its creation and observation – contributes to our personal and collective wholeness. I value art and artists, and the little I do returns to me 10 fold in beautiful ways.

When you have guests in town, where do you take them?

Depends on the guests but more than likely SECCA, a/perture, Delta Arts Center, a slew of restaurants and every coffee shop, gallery hop on Trade Street.

Describe your most transcendent art experience.

That would have to be, as a child, seeing the Dance Theatre of Harlem. I still remember sitting in Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte unable to move from being in a trance. The way the dancers’ body moved… the rhythm, the precision, the craft, the beauty. That’s when I knew there was something magical about art and being a catalyst for art – allowing yourself to be a container for something bigger than you. I was about 12 years old then, and looking back, I think that’s when I knew I wanted to surrender to something just as beautiful and magnificent.

What do you plan to do when you retire?

I don’t think I will retire from being an artist. I hope I grow more as an artist and that I spend traditional “retirement” years honing my craft, sharing with those who are interested what I’ve learned about being an artist while working a traditional job, traveling, being with what makes me ponder.

If you could change one thing about the time you spent in your twenties, what would it be?

I learned to turn pain into art in my 20s. I spent most of my 20s grieving the sudden passing of my father (he died when I was 23) and his passing prompted me to start The Word Project, so it’s hard for me to say what I would change (that’s within the realm of possibility).

 If you could put your own dream dinner party together in Winston-Salem, who would be at the table?

Definitely an eclectic group – some who have been on the arts scene for a while and some who are new to it and somewhat intimidated by it. Some who are thinking “what’s next” and want to be a part of that and others who are already riding that wave. Some who are playing guitar in their basements and others who are on stage selling out shows. Some who aren’t “artist” but write about it and others who can’t imagine being anyone other than an “artist.”



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