Aja Monet

Aja Monet’s Poetry as a Tool for Advocacy and Empowerment


Dec. 10 2023, Published 3:55 p.m. ET

A New York City native, Aja Monet is a poet, storyteller, and activist. As a wordsmith who prefers to use her creative works to assemble and participate in social movements, Monet’s material explores spirituality, gender, and race. Aja is known for her unique mastery of the use of words and the power they hold.

Continue reading below to find out more about how Monet is using her poetry as a tool for advocacy and empowerment.

Aja Monet Creative Works

Monet promotes various causes with the help of her poetry. Her creative works carry powerful messages that resonate with her audience across the world.

After graduating, the well-known poet started her creative journey by working on a variety of projects with other fellow poets. In addition to co-editing an anthology of works picked from 100 poets from all corners of the world – referred to as “Chorus: A Literary Mixtape” – with Saul Williams, the pair also collaborated on a poetry project with pupils from the Odyssey House, New York.

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Monet followed this up with the release of a pair of chapbooks titled “Inner-City Cyborgs and Ciphers” and “The Black Unicorn Sings.” Soon afterward, the wordsmith teamed up with political activist Angela Davis to write a play focusing on Black stories, which was launched in Ghana. As a member of V-Day, Monet also worked as the artistic creative director of the Voices Campaign, which was aimed at ending violence against women.

In 2020, Monet released a collection of poems titled “My Mother was a Freedom Fighter.” In the collection, the poet explores her activist roots, which extend all the way back to her great-grandmother. Within it, the project also recognizes all the women who have been inspirations to songwriters in album credits.

In 2021, Monet released a self-described “soundtrack for liberation” titled “The FREE Tape.” This unique project brought together a huge collection of instrumentalists, poets, and singers, among others.

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Monet released her debut album titled “When The Poems Do What They Do” in June 2023. It is the latest installment in her ever-growing collection of empowering creative works. During the creation of the project, Aja called in all the musicians she wanted to contribute to the new album and asked them to pick their favorite poems. The album’s lyrics provide a multifaceted layout of the black experience through various points of view, including perseverance, unification, and self-love.

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Aja Monet Social Advocacy Work

According to Monet, “No social movement has taken place without art being at the epicenter.” Speaking to Andscape.com, she continued to explain how people use chants and songs by poets to encourage each other during various points of their respective struggles. The poet also mentions how fascist states always seem to attack artists first.

With the above belief as a driving force, Monet has participated in various activism and advocacy projects. She took part in a #SayHerName movement vigil in 2015 – to raise awareness about police brutality against women. In recent times, the poet has also participated in a lot of advocacy work in Palestine.

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