“The true definition of an artist.” – Harry Belafonte
Contemporary poet, writer, and lyricist aja monet has been using her words to make a difference since her early years, forming a collaborative relationship with Saul Williams at just fourteen. She was the youngest poet to ever hold the title Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion at the age of nineteen and not long after college graduation published two chapbooks, Black Unicorn Sings (2010) and Inner-City Chants and Cyborg Ciphers (2014). monet’s subsequent books and poems have earned her praise and accolades, including a nomination for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for her first collection of poetry, My Mother was a Freedom Fighter (2017). At any given time you’ll find the revolutionary spirit of Audre Lorde and the Last Poets, you’ll feel June Jordan, Amiri Baraka, and Jayne Cortez, all appearing as generational influences. To expand and express herself in a different way, monet put her words to music in 2023 with her debut album, when the poems do what they do. Love, resistance, and the inexhaustible quest for joy form the heart and soul of her powerful debut recording.