Sunday, January 10, 2010


Spoken word is a natural way of life..spoken is is the very reflection of life. We jump monday off with the finest of new york's up and coming spoken word/poetry/slam poetry finalists, who have since launched careers, and have made lasting impressions every where they performed. Meet Aja-monet.. and Kesed..Iam.

Aja-Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet originally from East NY, Brooklyn, residing in Chicago, IL. At 22 years old, she is currently the youngest Grand Slam Champion of the Lower East side's legendary Nuyorican Poet's Café. Her work is classically surrealist, engaging altogether Hip Hop, Soul, and literary audiences. She dedicates her time and energy working with inner-city adolescence, providing performance poetry workshops and opportunities. Aja-Monet received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and is currently working on her MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.




Article by Yoon Yung Sim
Photographd by Yoon Yung Sim

While in the 4th grade, Kesed Ragin's teacher gave him a book of poetry written by the great Dr. Martin Luther King. This work reshaped his preconceived notions of the rigidity of poetry and ignited a poetic flame within him that has yet to go out.
After seeing SLAM starring spoken word phenom Saul Williams, Kesed knew exactly what he wanted to be. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Kesed expresses the difficulties of feeling at odds with his environment. Hurling himself into the spoken word scene, he has staked a claim as a performing activist "trying to reach people who don't know what they're up against." He was a member of the 2005 Urban Word Slam Team and Brave New Voices National Slam Champs.

Kesed exudes confidence and rightfully so, performing with the likes of Dead Prez and Arrested Development. Kesed's poetry offers an in depth look into the thoughts of the poet, taking the reader on a journey "from where I've been to where I [Kesed] am now". Grasping inspiration from all around him, fans can count on reading and hearing more from Kesed.



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