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When the people meant to protect us…

By September 29, 2015October 12th, 2022Poems


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In her first poem, Aja Monet tackled the question: why do we write?

Aja Monet was in class at Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan when a terror attack brought down the World Trade Center. The day awakened her to the “interconnectedness” of people and brought her a new perspective on her place in the world, she said.

“For me, language was always about trying to articulate my own truth,” she said. “It was the beginning of me starting to feel valuable in the human narrative.”

Monet, a Brooklyn-based poet of Cuban and Jamaican descent, soon began writing and performing with the organization Urban Word NYC and performing in talent shows at her high school. In 2007, she became the youngest-ever poet to win the Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion at the age of 19.