Akua Lezli Hope is a creator and wisdom seeker who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, and wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music, sculpture, adornments, and peace whenever possible. She wrote her first speculative poems in the sixth grade and she’s been in print every year, except one, since 1974. She is published in numerous literary magazines and national anthologies including: About Place Journal, Haiku Universe, Wreaths for a Wayfarer: An Anthology in Honour of Pius Adesanmi, Lockjaw Magazine, Fiolet & Wing, An Anthology of Domestic Fabulism, 50 over 50, Minerva Rising, Haiku Windows, Strange Horizons, Starline, SciFaikuest, Eye to the Telescope, Gyroscope, Poets Reading the News, New Verse News, Breath and Shadow, The Crafty Poet II, The Cossack Review, Silver Blade, Tiny Text, The 100 Best African American Poems; Killens Review, Breath and Shadow, Stone Canoe, Three Coyotes, The Year’s Best Writing, Writer’s Digest Guides; and DARK MATTER, (the first!) anthology of African American Science Fiction and Erotique Noire (the first) anthology of African American erotica; among many others.
A third generation New Yorker, her honors include the NEA, two NYFAs, an SFPA award, Rhysling and Pushcart Prize nominations, among others. She has twice won Rattle’s Poets Respond. Her poem, Endangered for Harambee, became the text for a song commissioned by the Duo Lied competition. Her first collection, EMBOUCHURE, Poems on Jazz and Other Musics, won the Writer’s Digest book award. A Cave Canem fellow, her collection, THEM GONE, was published 2018 (The Word Works).
She’s launched Speculative Sundays, an online poetry reading series. She is completing her Words on Wheels 2020 artist grant project, poetry art cards sent monthly to the frail elderly. She’s an avid hand papermaker and crochet designer with over 130 patterns published ( including 3 dragons and two mermaids). She exhibits her artwork regularly. A paraplegic, she founded a paratransit nonprofit. She sings songs from her favorite anime in Japanese, practices her soprano saxophone and prays for the cessation of suffering for all sentience.
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