At the age of 19, Aja Monet became the youngest person ever to win the famed Nuyorican Poets Café grand slam champion title (2007). She has performed on Broadway, at the Apollo, and at the NAACP Pre-Inauguration Event for Barack Obama, among many other venues.
Though still so young, she is an “old soul” and has served as a mentor to at-risk youth in New York, as a program coordinator at Odyssey House and as a teacher of poetry as a therapeutic art at Omega Institute. Her charismatic stage presence is already legendary.
Aja moved to Paris last year to work on a poetry anthology with acclaimed poet and musician Saul Williams. (Chorus was just released this fall.)
I had the great pleasure of serving on a panel with Aja this summer at the Paris Writers’ Workshop and getting to know her a little bit. This past Friday it was my absolute thrill to see her perform a solo show/lecture at Dorothy’s Gallery (which also doubles as the American Center for the Arts).
As a Monday treat, here’s one of the powerful pieces she performed. You can find out more about Aja at her website. Enjoy!