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Sunday, February 25, 2024

A conversation with award-winning poet Makeen Yasar

Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

Few weeks ago, I had a conversation with award-winning poet Makeen Yasar. He lives in Los Angeles. Makeen was the winner of the 2021 Chapter One Writing Competition organized by Black Writers Workspace directed by New Orleans author and entrepreneur Michelle Jackson.  Makeen is also a poet fighting for racial and social justice. He is the founding member of an emerging group of artists called Lighthouse Darkroom. The group’s main focus is to bring about what he called “communal creative development and radical vulnerability.”

I asked him to explain what “radical vulnerability” means. “The concept takes a page from the womanist framework. Essentially, we are leaning toward this idea of creating connection, creating space that is meaningful for folks to be able to show a part of themselves….” Makeen uses his work of poetry to educate and motivate our young generation of Americans—across genre and ethnicity—about their role in society in the hope someday we’ll be able to create a more inclusive society where one will not be judged by the color of his skin or his sexual orientation, but by the content of his character as Dr. King reminded us.

“If I were to describe my writing, I’d say my writing celebrates and speaks to Black resilience, and touches upon loss, youth, belonging, and the moments between solitude and community.” His poetic language speaks for itself. “I entered this competition as a means to begin sharing my art with others publicly and am very humbled to have been named the winner for poetry,” he said.

Makeen Yasar is truly a multitasked poet. He’s currently in the process of finishing a chapbook collection of poetry that he hopes to publish before the end of this year. To learn more about Makeen Yasar’s works, watch the video below as well as on our You Tube channel.

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