In a searching session of talks hosted by curator and photographer Deborah Willis and her son, artist Hank Willis Thomas (who spoke together at TEDWomen 2017), 12 speakers explored conflict, love, the environment and activism, and more. The session featured duet talks from Paula Stone Williams and Jonathan Williams, Neha Madhira and Haley Stack, Aja Monet and phillip agnew, Beth […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Aja Monet's lyrical poems explore gender, race, migration and spirituality. In 2018, her first full collection of poetry, My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. She read the title poem at the national Women's March on Washington DC in 2017 to commemorate women of the Diaspora. In 2019, she was awarded the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award for Poetry for her cultural organizing work in South Florida. She has collaborated with poet and musician Saul Williams on the book Chorus, an anthem of a new generation of poets and won the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam poetry award title in 2007.
Monet cofounded a political home for artists and organizers called Smoke Signals Studio. She facilitates "Voices: Poetry for the People," a workshop and collective in collaboration with Community Justice Project and Dream Defenders. She is currently working on her next full collection of poems, Florida Water. Monet also serves as the new artistic creative director for V-Day, a global movement to end violence against all women and girls.
Monet holds a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.