Aja Monet is an internationally established award-winning poet, performer, singer and songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate.
The youngest individual to win the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title—Aja is a Caribbean-American poet & educator from East NY, Brooklyn. Her craft is an in-depth reflection of emotional wisdom, skill, and activism. In both Aja Monet’s poetry and songs, she poses questions about the power of imagination and metaphor in how we engage both local and global issues.
In 2012 she collaborated with poet/musician Saul Williams on the book, Chorus: A Literary Mixtape published by MTV Books/Simon & Schuster. She served as an active member of Justice League NYC, a rapid response organization created by Harry Belafonte’s Gathering for Justice, a movement to end youth incarceration and eliminate racial inequities in the criminal justice system. She spearheaded an arts and activism initiative, Voices: Poetry for the People that provides free poetry workshops for grassroots leaders and organizers in Florida. Co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio, Aja lives in Little Haiti, Miami and works to merge arts and culture with community organizing as part of the Dream Defenders and Community Justice Project.
The Black Unicorn Sings is Monet's first published volume. My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, forthcoming by Haymarket books, is Aja Monet's first full collection of poems. It is an ode to mothers, daughters, and sisters—the tiny gods who fight to change the world.
Aja is a recipient of 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.” Monet was also awarded the 2014 New York City YWCA'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.
What people are saying about Aja: “The true definition of an artist”—Harry Belafonte