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Write Tea - Episode 10

SolSis

Solsis/Dappho was born on August 4th and is a native Washingtonian. Her love of music and expression stems deep to her childhood days of Casio keyboard compositions and singing in the church choir. A graduate of Bowie State University, Solsis/Dappho was the host of Washington D.C.’s only Queer Women of Color open mic, Lyrics & Lace Open Mic. Because of her extensive reach and commitment to arts, the bi-monthly event gathered hundreds of emerging singers, musicians, and poets in the greater Washington Metropolitan area to share their work. Singer, bassist, poet, model, educator and more, Solsis/Dappho is a modern day renaissance woman. As a vocalist and bassist of a QPOC Rock & Soul band, The CooLots, and, as a poet in her own right, she’s performed with organizations like Human Rights Campaign, WOW Theatre Cafe’s Rivers of Honey, and Baltimore’s Hexagon Space, to name a few. Her influences include Nikki Giovanni and Me’Shell N’Degeocello while her own infectious energy has been compared to the likes of Hanifah Walidah. An emerging community icon, SolSis/Dappho has also modeled for masculine of center women of color collective, bklyn boihood, as their December 2012 Calendar Boi and local vintage pop up shops. Solsis/Dappho is continuously bridging the gap between artists and audience, and giving voice to the marginalized through her own creative spirit.

 

Discussion Points

  • Finding a peace place to create
  • Keeping journals for life references
  • Focusing on your chosen genre
  • Supporting causes through your work

Length 28m 20s

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Write Tea - Episode 9

ASHLEY LEE WILLIAMS

Ashley Williams

Ashley Lee Williams is a great admirer. Gratefulness is her greatest delight. Her non-fiction book, A Course in Gratitude, was published Thanksgiving 2015 (www.acourseingratitude.com). Her fiction work has appeared in Callaloo, The Amistad and DrumVoices Revue, among other publications. She is a two-time recipient of the Margaret Walker Prize for Fiction, and was awarded the G.O.G Unpublished Writer's Award. She was a 2009 Finalist for the Hurston-Wright College Writers' Award. She is a graduate of the Hurston-Wright Writers Workshop, Voices of Our Nation Writing Workshop and the Callalloo Creative Writing Workshop. She has performed readings of her work at American University, Brown University and the University of the District of Columbia. Her novel, Some Grace, is under exclusive review. She is the Director of Climate and Culture at an elementary/middle grades school in her beloved hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.

 

Discussion Points

  • Turning images into stories
  • Writing about trans-formative experiences
  • Creating a writing process that works for you
  • Including diverse literature in the school curriculum 

Length 39m 54s

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Write Tea - Episode 8

Alan Sharpe

Hailing from St. Louis, MO, Alan Sharpe is Founding Artistic Director of Washington, DC's African-American Collective Theater (ACT), for which he has written and directed over sixty plays and short films focused on African-American LGBTQ themes. Since 1976 Alan has produced original stage and film productions in Washington, DC.  2016 marked ACT's 24th anniversary DC Black Pride production, with the reading of several of Alan's short plays, entitled 24/7

 

Discussion Points

  • Staying true to your aesthetic
  • Writers getting their due
  • Loving the DC arts scene
  • Stop talking about writing and write

Length 37m 17s

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Write Tea - Episode 7

FRED JOINER

Fred Joiner is a poet and curator living in Bamako, Mali. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Gargoyle, and Fledgling Rag, among other publications. Fred has read his work nationally and internationally. Joiner is a two-time winner of the Larry Neal Award for Poetry and a 2014 Artist Fellowship Winner as awarded by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Most recently, one of Joiner’s poems was selected by curator and critic A.M. Weaver as part of her 5 x 5 public art project, Ceremonies of Dark Men. Another one of Joiner’s poems recently won the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Divine Comedy Poetry Contest, in response to  Abdoulaye Konate’s textile work.

As a curator of literary and visual arts programming, Joiner has worked with the American Poetry Museum, Belfast Exposed Gallery (Northern Ireland), Hillyer Artspace, Honfleur Gallery, Medina Galerie (Bamako, Mali), the Phillips Collection, the Prince Georges African American Museum and Cultural Center, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and more.  He is the co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought at the Monroe Street Market in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C

Discussion Points

  • Archiving your work
  • Not letting age deter your passion
  • Curating outside your chosen field 
  • Owning art spaces

Length 1h 13m 41s

 

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Write Tea - Episode 6

Monte J. Wolfe & Jared Shamberger

Monte J. Wolfe is the Founder, Artistic, and Managing Director of Brave Soul Collective (BSC), an arts, education, and outreach organization with a focus on HIV/AIDS, and issues affecting the lives of LGBTQ people, through the performing and healing arts. Through his work with BSC, Monte has served as a producer, director, and playwright for a long list of theatrical productions and community events on a consistent basis since 2006.

Actor, Writer and Director, Jared Shamberger is well known for his work with Brave Soul Collective as well as his successful one man show 12. A graduate of Bowie State University, Jared was nominated for the Irene Ryan Scholarship through the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival and has toured in productions across the country. 

Discussion Points

  • Words are ideas
  • Using different technologies to write
  • Art at therapy
  • The benefits of being uncomfortable with your work

Length 1h 18m 44s

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Write Tea - Episode 5

KaNikki Jakarta

With over twenty five years of writing and over a decade on the poetry scene, KaNikki Jakarta has toured the US and the UK sharing the stage with Jill Scott, Raheem DeVaughn, and Lyfe Jennings. KaNikki J. writes and recites what she calls “real life fiction” that touches her listeners to the core. She has published two fictional novels: IN REAL LIFE & THE COLOR BLUE and is currently preparing to release the third installment entitled THE OTHER SIDE OF PRETTY. KaNikki J is a success at multi-tasking wearing many hats: poet, host, and ASL Interpreter. She is the founder of NUSPA (National Underground Spoken word Poetry Awards.) If you think that something she says on the mic might change your life, you’re probably right.

Discussion Points

  • A Writer's Changing Moods
  • Attempting to Write Outside Your Comfortable Genre
  • Breaking Down Discrimination
  • Empowering Artists to Continue Creativity

Length 41m 12s

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Write Tea - Episode 4

KHADIJAH MOON

Born in Washington DC and growing up performing on the U Street corridor where greats such as Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday performed in their day, Khadijah Moon is an eclectic blend of soul, rock, funk and jazz. She crafts artful stories through song with powerful lyrics and brilliant arrangements. With a 3 octave vocal range inspired by her early idol Phillip Bailey and later influenced by icon idols Chaka Khan, Chante Moore & Prince, Khadijah Moon delivers a pleasurable aural experience for music fans.

Above singing, Khadijah Moon credits her writing passion as a poet, playwright and songwriter as contributing to her success on stage. She has appeared on television and on stages throughout the United States, including the Apollo Theater, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the United States Peace Corps headquarters, and the National Green Festival.

Discussion Points

  • Keeping Cultural History Relevant
  • Striving to be Famous or Self-Sustaining
  • Accepting Critique's and Edits of Your Work
  • Building Creative Spaces

Length 40m 11s

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