Mahogany L. Browne Named as Lincoln Center’s First Poet in Residence

By: Tadi Abedje

With the COVID-19 restrictions loosening up, the announcement was made by the Lincoln Center to take advantage of its outdoor spaces.  

Browne is a writer, educator, organizer and the executive director of JustMedia, which is a media literacy initiative aimed at assisting the groundwork of community and criminal justice leaders. She was born and raised in Oakland, California but moved to Brooklyn, New York. She got a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. 

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According to her biography on poets.com, the 45-year-old authored several poetry collections like “Kissing Caskets,” “Smudge,” “Redbone” and “#Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online.” 

She spent thirteen years as the Friday Night Slam curator and Poetry Program coordinator at the Nuyorican Poets Café on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Browne has written numerous books such as “Black Girl Magic,” “Chlorine Sky” and “I Remember Death by Its Proximity to What I Love.” 

She takes pride in writing children’s books and young adult fiction books for younger audiences. 

“The benefits are you get to try out new voices. You get to think about what you would have said if you were in that position again with a more steady hand. I didn’t think that my voice would be celebrated because I was speaking from a very distinctive place and time,” Browne said to Washington State University’s Visiting Writers Series. “But what I realized is not just the diversity of voices but the diversity of stories that young people are living themselves are not always in the books.” 

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During her residency, she will get together with other poets like Isaac Fitzgerald, Sarah Kay and Jacqueline Woodson and will host a book fair for kids with a focus on social justice. 

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