Aja Monet is known for her powerful poetry pieces.


Staff Report

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Powerful performance poet Aja Monet has been announced as a replacement for G Yamazawa at the 14th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival (PBPF), returning to old school square for six days, January 15-20, 2018.

Monet has been described by entertainment icon and activist Harry Belafonte as “the true definition of an artist.” An internationally established poet, singer, performer and educator, her craft is an in-depth reflection of emotional wisdom, skill and activism.

The youngest individual to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam Title, Monet is recognized for combining her spellbound voice and powerful imagery on stage.

Among Monet’s books are: “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter,” “Inner-City Chats and Cyborg Cyphers” and “The Black Unicorn Sings.” she also collaborated with poet-musician Saul Williams on the book “Chorus: A Literary Mixtape.”

Her first CD, “Scared to Make Love/Scared Not To,” is a testament to her creative lens and a social commentary on the discussion of love.

Monet is of Cuban-Jamaican heritage and has performed at world-renowned venues including: Town Hall Theater, the Apollo Theater, the UN and the NAACP’s Barack Obama Inaugural Event in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Monet, the PBPF will feature Coleman Barks as the special guest poet. Barks is a major poet who has been touted as the world’s leading expert on 13th century poet Rumi, the founder of Sufism.

Tuition for workshops is $895 and includes five three-hour workshop sessions; admission to all festival events, including a ticket to attend the festival gala and to read at open mics at the Poetry Festival book store. Limited scholarship assistance may be available.

Tuition for Auditors is $495 and includes observation of a workshop and admittance to all festival events except the gala. Auditing is offered for beginning poets who may be shy about sharing their poems, or non-poets, and is a great opportunity to learn by observing and listening.

The festival will also feature other top poets at numerous ticketed public events, including readings, talks, interviews, panel discussions and more. Nine poetry-writing workshops will be offered by distinguished poets Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Chard DeNiord, Beth Ann Fennelly, Ross Gay, Rodney Jones, Phillis Levin, Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Tim Seibles; with individual conferences offered by nationally acclaimed poets: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn and Nickole Brown.

In addition, Slam Champion Elizabeth Acevedo will host an event and there will be a special tribute to Poet Thomas Lux, a longtime supporter of the festival who died earlier this year.

The 2018 Palm Beach Poetry Festival is sponsored in part by the state of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Morga Stanley & The Legacy Group of Atlanta; the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Tourism Development Council and the Board of Commissioners of Palm Beach County; the Palm Beach Post; Visit Florida; WLRN; and Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach’s independent bookseller.

For more information, visit www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org.