Category: poetry


Miami Book Fair

Miami Book Fair 2019 owes me nothing.

Actually, that would be an understatement. The Book Fair was a glorious gathering of literature, thought and community. Books, music, food were in order for the week, culminating in the weekend’s Street Fair.

I had the pleasure of sharing poems from my book, And the Walls Came Tumbling, along sid some amazing poets from around the country: Abigail, Chabitnoy, T’ai Freedom Ford and Ashley M. Jones. I was inspired by their passion and the thoughtfulness of their work.

With so many amazing things happening during the Fair, there was a little bit of something for everyone. Besides my reading, I was able to hear from other great voices like Hanif Abdurraqib, Edwidge Danticat and Staceyann Chin.

Being a presenting author with my first published collection of poems was an incredibly special experience. I am thankful to selection committee and those friends and supporters who shared the experience with me.

The Miami Book Fair is the “nation’s premier literary festival,” and continues to grow. Writers from all over descended on the Magic City for commune and conversation. I’m excited about the growth of the Fair and look forward to its continuing efforts to engage the Greater Miami community.

Literature/words/art must be felt/heard/breathed by the people and where the people are.

Literature that is alive and relevant has the potential to transform a people. It need not remain in books on shelves in buildings only visiting by a seldom few.



Cover article in Lifestyle Magazine

Mama, I made it! Someone saw fit to write a cover story about moi. Check out the amazing feature by Sally-Ann O’Dowd with extremely flattering photography by Eduardo Schneider.  Read article here.




South Florida Book Fair

And the Walls Came Tumbling hit the shelves in January. Six months later, I am a featured poet/author at the South Florida Book Festival.

The festival, being held at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale 33311) – July 19th and 20th, has invited me to be a part of their 8th annual event that will feature authors from around the country.

On Saturday, July 20th, I’ll have a short reading from 2:30-2:45, followed by a panel discussion in the gallery. Books will be on sale all day.


Writing Workshop

In conjunction with the City of Sunrise, I’ll be facilitating teen writing workshops in September. If you are (or know) a teen that’s interested in exploring and/or creative writing and poetry talents, then this is the right workshop.

Click on the link to register.

Series 1 – Teen Poetry Workshop 2018


Piano Slam Workshop for MDCPS Educators

October 27, 2017 – I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop for Miami-Dade Public School educators on behalf of Piano Slam and the Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation.

It was a thrilling day. Check out the video.


Obama Out!

As I reflect on the presidency of Barack Obama, I think back to the night of his first election. I was at a watch party in my community and the energy was electric. There tears, high-fives, and thank you Jesuses. A few of us sorta basked in what seemed like a surreal moment (much like the 2016 election.)

I immediately went home and wrote two poems. They have very different tones; they are below:

It’s Still America on November 4, 2008

A moment in history;

a modern day miracle.

But amidst all the excitement

I can’t help but be cynical.


It’s hard to believe that we’ll have a black president

in the same slave nation where Jena 6 still exists.


Behind the window where my principal sits,

a confederate flag is a reminder of this.

Though we’ve sang cumbayas and marched melodic miles,

and our blood pumps in the heart of this land,

and we may have dreams of rainbow coalitions,

And chant to the hills, YES WE CAN!




Racism is the ink that the declaration was signed with

the same pen that wrote us in as three-fifths

in the same hand that lifts the unjust gavel

and brings it down on the brown; less time for sand than gravel.

As this thing unravels,

we’ll see how ready this country really is.

To think that we are is a tough pill too swallow,

cuz I still can’t walk into most department stores and not get followed.

Maybe tomorrow; maybe then it’ll all make sense

when we officially have a black president.

Maybe a school in little Haiti will be on par with South Beach.

Maybe the price for college won’t be so far out of reach.

Maybe along with his eloquent speech and elegant smiling

will come an end to racial profiling.

Maybe we’ll see more computers and books

than crack vials and pistols.

And maybe you’ll make Marvin’s rendition of the Anthem official.

And hope your reflexes are good, so the bullets and arrows miss you.

But after all the tears and tissue and cause to celebrate,

It’s still America on November 4, 2008.


And the other…

This Victory, That Dream


On November 4th, 2008

Barack Obama was elected president of these United States.


Ahhh, this victory;

Breaking the cruel chains of history.

Putting ointment on open wounds of misery

that seemingly would never heal.

Allowing an entire people to see hope manifested,

returns on tears and pain and blood invested.

Every unheard voice can now attest it:

the American dream is real.


The dream of those centuries ago

who stepped unsure foot on foreign soil.

The dream of those that we will never know

who built this nation with tormented toil.

The dream of those who sought this place

for its promise of possibility,

from different shores, from every race

in search of true civility.


America has “regained” her nobility

and now adorns a crown of unfettered possibility

that was echoed in that mountaintop dream.

A dream that has awakened

and taken the reins from injustice and inequality

and handed them to pipe dreams and utopian notions.

A dream that has grabbed the white hand

and the black hand

and brown hand and

Walked them down that mountain to a land of whens –

Not ifs,

Not nevers.


Severed are the ties that bound us

and before us are boundless dreams

that now seem attainable –

that ribbon in the sky within reach of our fingertips;

that fountain of youth wetting our lips;

slaying dragons atop pillowy clouds;

believing you are American and saying it loud.


How’d we get here?

Not by dreaming alone,

but by doing the work of the dreamers long gone.

We are that dream’s reality at work; we are that song.

We are the belief in which the believers kept believing,

and we honor them when we keep on dreaming

and leaning on the everlasting principles of hope.

For hope is that last remaining ember of a once raging blaze;

It is the enduring symbol of all but forgotten days.

Because it’s hard to remember the past

when your present seems so grim,

and your future looks so bleak;

when the light of the world seems to dim,

and you don’t have the voice to speak

You can still hope.

Even when it’s irrational,

and cynicism seems more natural,

and every fiber of your being says, “it can’t get no better,”

you can still hope for the day

when the winds of change will blow your way,

and you no longer have to suffer or settle.


It is known what happens to a dream deferred

under the heat of an unforgiving Sun.

But defer your dream no more; live hope undeterred,

because we make the dream a living one.

One that has blown a breath of renewal into the lungs of the world.

One that has remapped futures and rerouted destinies.

One that allows mirror reflections of me to say,

“I can be what I want as long as I give the best of me.”

Let the lesson be, not that the dream is over and we’ve awakened in a blissful place,

but that the dream invigorates us to continue the race.

For life is a marathon, this victory a second wind;

Be now powered with the possibility that we can make it to the end.

Dream On!