Aja Monet

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, & educator originally from Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she received her BA in Liberal Arts and was awarded the The Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry established to recognize poetry that effectively examines relationships among women, especially in the context of justice for everyone. As well, she won the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title in honor of her poetry and performance. As well, she received an MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Aja Monet independently published her first book of poetry, The Black Unicorn Sings and collaborated with poet Saul Williams on a poetry anthology of this generation’s social and political anthems entitled, Chorus: A Literary Mixtape (MTV Books/Simon & Schuster). She was awarded the YWCA of the City of New York’s “One to Watch Award”—an award established in honor of Monet’s work: for women under the age of 30 who exemplify the mission to empower women and eliminate racism. She was an active member of Justice League NYC, a rapid response organization created by Harry Belafonte’s Gathering for Justice to end youth incarceration and to eliminate the racial inequities in the criminal justice system. Co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio, Aja Monet currently lives in Little Haiti, Miami and dedicates her time merging arts & culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and Community Justice Project. Inspired by June Jordan, she spearheads an arts & activism initiative, “Voices: Poetry for the People” that provides free poetry workshops for grassroots leaders & organizers in South Florida. As well she continues to organize artist delegations, cultural, and political exchanges with communities at home and abroad. Aja Monet was a featured speaker and delivered the title poem from her first book at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. in 2017. Her collection of poems is available on Haymarket Books entitled, my mother was a freedom fighter. For more info, visit: www.ajamonet.com