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Aja Monet

New York-born poet, writer, activist and musician aja monet’s sharp, powerful poetry has run like wildfire in the contemporary world. Her debut album when the poems do what they do was released in 2023 and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category.

monet is described as a surrealist blues poet, but her poetry moves across levels, people’s concrete life situation, existential resistance, love and longing. On the record when the poems do what they do kompas monet by a rarely heard jazz ensemble led by trumpeter and composer Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah, formerly known as Christian Scott and drummer Marcus Gilmore, grandson of Roy Haynes.

monet wrote his first poems at the age of eight and performed in poetry workshops and competitions throughout high school.

In 2021, as a co-founder of the Smoke Signals collective, she released The FREE Tape, a hip-hop-driven, “soundtrack for liberation” made in collaboration with the collective’s singers, poets and multi-instrumentalists.

As a poet, community organizer and educator, aja monet moves between different media and movements where activism and words interact.

When aja monet brings her jazz ensemble to Kungsgatan 63, you don’t want to be the one who wasn’t there. aja monet’s words are performative in a way that prompted online magazine NPR Music to exclaim:

“A rousing, nearly transcendent experience, putting the unfamiliar into text and making familiar words seem sacred.” – NPR