Proyecto Conbíf

Prompt Against Anxiety #8 | from visual artist and co-founder of Cosecha Creative Space Erick "CK" Ledesma, who since the pandemic began has been helping organize efforts for Ayuda Mutua MKE to combat food insecurity on Milwaukee's south side.


Today (Sunday, May 10, 2020) marks two months of our weekly Prompts Against Anxiety series.

In keeping with Woodland Pattern's mission and goals, we've tried to offer ideas that engage not only poets and writers but also artists across all media and disciplines. So we're especially pleased today to share a prompt that exercises so many of our creative muscles while also offering a way for people who miss each other to tangibly reconnect and perhaps even get to know one another more deeply.

Sharing a meal and its story has always been an important expressive outlet and means of profound human exchange. And "breaking bread together" has taken on new meaning in the midst of a pandemic that has isolated us and led to food insecurity for so many. How better to relieve one's own and another's anxiety than through the gift of a cherished meal? 

We were lucky to be among the original recipients of Ledesma's beautiful Proyecto Conbíf and hope the prompt he's developed to extend this project inspires you as much as it has inspired us. (We're also thrilled that his prompt helps support the US Postal Service!)

Finally, be sure to check out Ledesma's bonus video for parents and kids offering instruction on how to create simple paper maché masks.


Dinner kit boxes headed for the post office!

Proyecto Conbíf is a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, culturally specific food-based project that intersects performance, documentation, location, heritage, and ancestry—an experimental piece about HOME. Recently, I shared this project with friends, and now I invite you to try a version of it.
When I’m dealing with anxiety, I find comfort in food—especially when sharing it with others. 
As I pondered this, questions arose: How can we share something as intimate as a meal in times of isolation? How can we share such an empirical experience while socially distant from one another? 
Proyecto Conbíf (or Project Corned Beef) was born in pursuit of answering these and other questions, as well as intersecting ideas of HOME. Though I have a home in Milwaukee, I am currently in Puerto Rico, which I also call home. I wondered how it would be possible for me to conjure for faraway loved ones the experience of having a Puerto Rican meal here with me, in the kitchen of my grandmother’s home. She passed away last year, and now more than ever I want to preserve the meals and traditions she gave to me, and share them with others who are dear to me.  

So this is what I did: I created an instructional video for making a special meal and a playlist of music that could be listened to while cooking. Then I packed up several USPS boxes with the ingredients and this letter to friends.


Dinner kits arrive!

The Prompt

In the spirit of Proyecto Conbíf, please share a favorite recipe with your loved ones. Handwrite or type it out, and include a letter for each person. (If you're so inclined, send them the ingredients as well!)
Then, make a playlist of songs to share, whether online or just written out for your recipients to look up. Think about what else you could send along with your recipe that will transport your loved ones to where you are—it could be as simple as a leaf, a magazine clipping, a photograph or poem, or a piece of fabric. Against isolation and across distance, make your presence felt.
Consider also documenting your process, and sharing it with us by email or mail, or by posting to social media and tagging #proyectoconbif #promptsagainstanxiety @cosechacreativespace and @woodlandpattern!

And finally, if you'd like to take this prompt a step further, you can donate below to stand in solidarity with Milwaukee families.


Ck and their brother Gaby team up to share some more love from their HOME to yours with a paper maché mask making tutorial! Haga clic aquí para español.

Prompts Against Anxiety is sponsored by Milwaukee Public Library, an anchor institution that helps patrons read, learn, and connect—to our resources and our community. Now more than ever, stay connected, stay home, and stay safe. 

More from this series

Write in NaturePrompt #39—Oogie Push

Real FoodPrompt #38—Joan Kane

You Don't Need Proust to Smell GoodPrompt #37—Elizabeth Hoover

Find Your Own FormPrompt #36—Sawako Nakayasu


Preparation for the PromptPrompt #32—Lisa Fishman

Collage Your Own Writing PromptPrompt #31—Helen Hofling

Prepared StatementPrompt #30—Mike Hauser

Repeat Repeat WritePrompt #29— Lewis Freedman

Poetic CorrespondencePrompt #28—Eric Baus

EKPHRASIS YOURSELFPrompt #27—Jennifer Nelson

POETRY IS FOR THE PEOPLEPrompt #26—Angela Trudell Vasquez

MAIL ARTPrompt #25—Siwar Masannat

VISUAL POSTCARDSPrompt #24—Portia Cobb

A [LONGER-TERM] DEEP LISTENING PROMPTPrompt #23—Jibade-Khalil Huffman

Humor as Medicine for the SoulPrompt #22—Mauricio Kilwein Guevara

Personification: A Social Justice PromptPrompt #21—Derrick Harriell

Ponge ExercisePrompt #20—Tyrone Williams

Occult DocupoesisPrompt #19—Kimberly Alidio

Junk Drawer SongPrompt #18—Hoa Nguyen

TALK TO THE POETSPrompt #17—Stacy Szymaszek

Make-Do Origin Stories & Concrete FuturesPrompt #16—Ching-In Chen

The Family PhotographPrompt #15—Rosa Alcalá

Note(s) to SelfPrompt #13—Stacy Blint

Embracing ConfusionPrompt #12—Bryon Cherry

Writing/Playing the ArchivePrompt #11—Jay Besemer

CAPTURED & FREEDPrompt #10—Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Poetic Exit StrategiesPrompt #9—Ana Božičević

Proyecto ConbífPrompt #8—Erick "CK" Ledesma

TRILOGYPrompt #6—CA Conrad

Utopian CompromisePrompt #7—Paul Druecke

A Series of RoomsPrompt #5—Laura Solomon

Two Variations on N+7Prompt #4—Jenny Gropp

T H E A P A R T / TOGETHERPOEMPrompt #3—Margaret Rozga

An Exercise in WindowsPrompt #2—Marla Sanvick

Erasuring AnxietyPrompt #1—Peter Burzynski

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