U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo is a Zimbabwean American poet, author, speaker, singer and educator who has performed internationally in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Portugal and Ireland. She was featured on “WGBH Suitcase Stories.” Her poetry collection “Soul Psalms”(She Writes Press) was described by David Updike as “written in a fearless female voice tempered with optimism and healing possibilities of love.” In Spring 2018 she was a Keynote at the Naturalization Ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as well as the 15th Annual Refugee Conference in Lowell, MA. During Women's History Month she performed in a staged reading at the Next Stage Arts Project in Putney, Vermont for " Bold Women: Brazen Acts " amplifying women's voices written by Rivka Solomon. She was also featured alongside Yo Yo Ma, David Ortiz and many gifted others in the#StandsWithImmigrants : Projections, a series of large scale Boston portraits, projected onto Boston’s urban landscape, to highlight the critical role that immigrants play in our society the kick off happening at the Edward Kennedy Institute. She is member of the New England Poetry Club, The International Women’s Writing Guild and an advisory board member for Write On The Dot , a community reading initiative in Dorchester, a proud UMASS Boston and Lesley University alum. A passionate Wellness and Fitness Advocate, Marathoner and Rower, U-Meleni has been interviewed on "Basic Black" about Running in the African American Community and the Boston Marathon. When not performing, she can be found traveling the world and running races as a proud member of the National Black Marathoners Association and Finishers Fit Club along with her husband and son.
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Where You Can Catch ME..
When Home Won't Let You Stay:Migration through Contemporary Art
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), 100 Northern Ave., Boston, MA
The ICA partners with the International Institute of New England to present their Suitcase Stories program, featuring both foreign- and U.S.-born local residents sharing inspiring stories of refugee and immigrant life in conjunction with the exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art.
I am one of three storytellers sharing " Seeds, Soil & Water" my story that was aired on WGBH & World Channel LIVE followed by a talk back about Suitcase Stories and the importance of amplifying immigrant and refugee voices.
American Repertory Theatre, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA
Resistance Mic! is part of the A.R.T. of Human Rights series, an ongoing collaboration between the American Repertory Theater and Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. The host is Timothy Patrick McCarthy.
I shared the stage with Dr Cornel West
Landmark College Belle Brooks Auditorim, 1 River Road, South Putney, VT
MY BODY, MY COUNTRY: A POETRY READINGFree Event.
In every era, there are some bodies that are more policed or “owned” than others. This is what perhaps makes defining our internal and external geographies so challenging. We often undertake an exploratory journey attempting to separate our identity and sense of becoming from social, cultural, and other pressures. Often, these explorations shift throughout our lives. We ultimately are our own countries, and we carry our geography within us.
What are the lines of distinction in terms of who has the freedom or choice of their body? How do we begin to explore the self as topography? My Body, My Country introduces the following artists who will be exploring these topics in a live performance of their written work. This is a National Poetry Month event sponsored and hosted by Landmark College’s Education Department, Student Affairs, and Centers for Diversity and Inclusion.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo is a Leominister, MA born Zimbabwean American grown poet, author, actress, singer and educator who has performed nationally and internationally in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Portugal and Ireland. She was featured on “WGBH Suitcase Stories.” Her poetry collection “Soul Psalms” (She Writes Press) was described by David Updike as “written in a fearless female voice tempered with optimism and healing possibilities of love.”
Shanta Lee Gander is an artist and multi-faceted professional. As an artist, her endeavors include writing prose, poetry, investigative journalism, and photography. Her poetry, prose, and personal essays have been featured in Rebelle Society, on the Ms. Magazine Blog, The Commons weekly newspaper. Shanta Lee is the co-author of ‘Ghosts of Cuba: An Interracial Couple’s Exploration of Cuba in the Age of Trump—Told in Images & Words’ (Green Writers Press, September 2019).
Desmond Peeples’ fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in Five [Quarterly], Big Bridge, Goreyesque, Hunger Mountain, and elsewhere, and their original music is released independently. They were the founding editor of the literary arts magazine, Mount Island, and currently consult for Green Writers Press.
*Details about location at Landmark College: This event will be located in the East Academic Building in the auditorium (marked EAB-Auditorium). For directions and a map of the Landmark College campus, please visit: https://www.landmark.edu/about/directions-to-campus