Tutors, mentors, big brothers, community activist, leaders, scholars, summa cum laude grads, allies, soldiers, father-figures, artist, camp directors, coaches, veterans, counselors, historians, master social workers, non- profit administrators, brothers, friends, fathers, sons, - all of these titles can be summed to one: THE TWIN POETS
Truly their work reflects their lives. Not many who have witnessed a performance or read a poem by the Twin Poets (Al & Nnamdi) would deny that they have seen or felt the power. Their compassion and commitment for their words is only outdone by their work in the community. For the past two and a half decades these two wordsmiths have been warriors on the front line for our community, placing the needs of the community before their own. Founders of GOALS-Getting Organized Always Leads to Success-a tutoring and mentoring program started out of their home in North Wilmington.
On December 15, 2015 the Twin Poets were appointed by Governor Jack Markell to be the 17th Poets Laureate for the State of Delaware. The Twin Poets are the first African Americans to hold the post for Delaware and the first twins, siblings and spoken word artist to share the state title of laureate nationally.
Inspired at an early age to write and express themselves, Al & Nnamdi have become two of the most respected poets in the performance poetry/ spoken word genre. Performances with such poetic legends as The Last Poets, Sonia Sanchez, US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Hererra, Walter Mosley, Haki Madhubuti and the late icons Amiri Baraka and Chinua Achebe have paved the way to repeated captivating performances at NY’s Nuyorican, PA’s Painted Bride, and DE’s Grand Opera House; college/university/school tours from Ivy Leagues to local preschools, faith based organizations and area group homes. The depth of their messages has allowed them to be included in the prison poetry programs in DE, PA, NJ and NY.
The Twin Poets are the subject of the award-winning, Hearts and Minds Films Documentary: Why I Write which chronicles their artistic and social work on the frontlines to save children and empower communities. www.WhyIWrite.org
Al & Nnamdi are also the founders of Art For Life-Delaware, a youth and community development organization rooted in the arts.
The Twin Poets are the authors of: Our Work, Our Words… Poems from the pavement (Nu Direction Publishing, 2015, 2nd Edition), Our Work, Our Words… Taking the guns from our sons’ hands (iUniverse, 2008) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/twin+poets?_requestid=1079146#
, Lyrical Libations (Rebirth Press, 2000) and Selected Poems (Rebirth Press, 1998)
Their latest work, a children’s book entitled: Homework For Breakfast is illustrated by Robyn Phillips-Pendleton (Mariposa Ranch Press, 2016).
The Twin Poets are strong advocates for promoting poetry throughout by:
- Incorporating poetry/ spoken word and creative writing programming into schools, libraries and community centers.
- Introducing poetry as a tool for transformation within youth detention centers and adult correctional facilities.
- To utilize the poetic art form to strengthen the healing and support process for our fellow veterans, especially those suffering from PTSD.
- To take poetry/ spoken word and creative writing into communities of need to assist with addressing gun violence.