I talked to Cynthia Amoah of Black Women Rise Poetry at Juneteenth on the Ave.
Sidebar: I was taking pictures in the area and heard the word “Christ.” I found my way to the audience area and sat down to make it easier for me to pay attention to what Cynthia was saying.
Tell me about your expression of art.
I am a poet. I am an educator. I am a mentor. All of those things. But I am also an artist. I think that the art title has led me into all of these other avenues. We are live at the Amos Lynch Plaza Stage. I am part of the “Black Women Rise Poetry Collective”, which is a collective of black women poets in my city who perform poems and write poems. Who use poetry as their ministry. We were invited to come out and perform at the Juneteenth on the Ave festival today. I’m excited because poetry brings me into the most unusual spaces and places. Poetry is the reason why I am talking to you right now. I am blessed to have this gift.
Tell me about the collective.
The title is the “Black Women Rise Poetry Collective.” We started during the pandemic. Our fierce leader, Barbara Fant, who was a Columbus native, has moved to Los Angeles, California. She is still available. She hit up all her poet women friends and asked us if we wanted to write poems together for the month of April (which is national poetry month). Since 2020, we have become a thing. A group. A collective moving together as a unit in poetry. If we hear about performances happening in the city, we all go out and support the poet who is performing. It has been a blessing to be a part of a group of women who really have the same purpose or have a similar calling, to grow, to learn from, to teach as well. You can find us on Instagram: @blackwomenrisepoetry
Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you think I should have asked you? If so, go ahead and answer that question.
Is there something that you haven’t done yet? What would that be?
It would be using my poetry to venture out into industries, working with industries, bringing poetry into spaces and places that you wouldn’t find poetry otherwise. That means, marketing for brands and random companies that might use poetry as a way to reach new audiences.
Sidebar: This interview right here…. This was a set up for sure. This interview/conversation after the interview blessed me. I was impressed with the boldness to share Christ. Historically, when I have attended festivals, my observation is very few people share their faith in the context of “performing”.