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Kemi Alabi

Kemi Alabi is the author of Against Heaven, selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the 2021 Academy of American Poets First Book Award. Their poems and essays appear in The RumpusGuernicaCatapult, Best New Poets 2019The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2 and elsewhere. A cultural strategist with Forward Together, Kemi builds narrative power with writers and artists for social justice. They live in Chicago.


our bloom game too strong / altar stays red candle cinnamon-lit
sweet flicker cracking into prance

Kemi Alabi