Ali’s poems consistently engage black history and pop culture as windows into more personal, yet deeply political, realms: “Begin with a shooting,/ a controversial art exhibit, a mob throwing dung at the Black Madonna”. . . Ali’s willful, complex collection marks him as a poet to watch.
— Publisher’s Weekly
Abdul Ali—poet, writer, nonprofit consultant, and cultural worker—was most recently program director of the Maryland State Council’s County Arts and A&E Districts programs. And before that, he was the program coordinator at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) of a major grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in arts, culture, and humanities in higher education. Mr. Ali has held distinguished teaching appointments at Johns Hopkins University, Howard University, and Goucher College. He is the recipient of the 2019 Ruby Grant, from the Robert Deutsch Foundation. His debut collection of poems, Trouble Sleeping, won the 2014 New Issues Poetry Book Prize. When Mr. Ali isn’t teaching writing, he is a volunteer leader with the Baltimore-based organization, THREAD, which serves academically challenged young people in the Baltimore City Public Schools. Over the past decade, he has held senior management positions at numerous literary nonprofit institutions spanning program management, communications, development, to chairing the Board of Directors of the Hurston/Wright foundation. In 2021, along with his friend and collaborator, Shamar Hill, he co-founded Thrive Arts, a service organization that seeks to provide capacity building to communities of color. He currently serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer.
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