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A PORTRAIT – Aja Monet

on June 27 | in Poetry | by | with No Comments

for Carrie

grace is a stretch you walk
sitting or kneeling after a stroll,
an exhale at a sanctuary of sounds
the string, the harp, the woodwind quartet,
a rhythm section plays for you
a cacophony cuddled in a chest
arms or wings blazing a poetic field
of tone, the forlorn sound of a trumpet
a constant refrain of resist
all daughters in movement
the gods of grief
a stream visited by wringing hands
at the foot of thirst, a wild mare on wounded knee
tending to self
not knowing to accept or let go
sister in the pews,
fanning, prayers, holding space
a skirt tail between fingers
overlooking, shredding,
whatever frets the eye
 
 
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Aja Monet received her BA in Liberal Arts and was awarded the The Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry to recognize undergraduate students whose work in poetry “effectively examines relationships among women, especially in the context of justice for everyone.” She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. 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. 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 at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. in 2017 where she delivered the title poem, my mother was a freedom fighter from her first book, a collection of poems available of Haymarket Books.

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