Help 15 Poets Go to Ghana Slam

Imagine a social justice community that bridges cultures through relationship building and poetic dialogue.  In 2[phone redacted], Karla  Brundage met Sir Black, also known as Quaye Kojo Benedict, leader of the Poetry Slam collective,  Ehalakasa  in Accra, Ghana.  They collaborated in Abidjan,  but always wanted to do something more to bring people, and youth in particular, together.

Dreams manifested into words in 2017 when they finally established a poetic contact zone between West Africa and West Oakland. are the members.
Founder Karla Brundage speaks about her WO2WA vision.

Karla Brundage is a second year MFA Poetry Candidate.  A poet, essayist, activist, performer, teacher and beach lover, she is the recipient of a Fulbright Teacher Exchange and spent a year teaching in Zimbabwe.  She has one collection of poetry Swallowing Watermelons.  After returning from Abidjan last year, Karla was inspired to continue some of the conversations she had entered through poetry. As her CEF project here at Mills she is facilitating a groups of poets who exchange Renshi poetry with a group of writers in Ghana and Abidjan.


Ghana Team Leader:  Sir Black and Ehalakasa

EHALAKASA is a concept created by Sir Black and musician/poet Nii Lantey in 2007, simply to bring poetry from the page to the stage. The basic intent for EHALAKASA is to address and deal with issues relevant to our time as a people, while projecting Ghanaian values. EHALAKASA  has evolved out of the response of artists’ and art lovers’ desire for the awakening and recognition of spoken word performance, live music and  poetry in Accra and Ghana.Since 2007, EHALAKASA has been highly successful with projects and events like, Ehalakasa Slam, Ehalakasa Talk Party, the annual Ehalakasa International Poetry Day, Ehalakasa in Senior High Schools (workshops) and Ehalakasa Festival amongst hers.These events were organized in collaboration with Alliance Française, Goethe Institut, Nubuke Foundation, Writers Project of Ghana, Ghana Association of Writers, Cultural Education Unit of Ghana Education Service, Ghana Culture Forum, Foundation for Contemporary Art – Ghana, National Theatre – Ghana, etc.

Dr. Marcus Lorenzo Penn is a native of San Francisco and currently lives in Oakland.  Harnessing his many gifts serving as a holistic doctor, photographic artist, yoga teacher, wellness consultant, coach, and facilitator, poet, author, and speaker, Dr. Penn is passionate about living, seeing, reflecting and moving through life fully and helping others do the same.  His travels have taken him to six continents, visiting Ghana, West Africa in 2007.

Sara Biel is a poet, visual artist and social worker. Her work combines original text with many different art materials. She is passionate about collaborative art and performance processes and  focuses on art as a medium for building community.  Sara and her artistic collaborator Karla Brundage were the curators and producers of the Temescal Insitu project in the fall of 2013.

Zakiyyah G.E. Capehart, poet/storyteller, performing and visual artist uses her artistic skills and medical background to produce and host radio shows to help educate and heal the community.  Zakiyyah's poetry is published in several anthologies.  Her radio shows are aired on KPFA 94.1fm.  Zakiyyah and her husband Bryant are proud parents and grandparents.

Professor Wanda Sabir , is a poet, essayist, arts editor and senior writer at the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Wanda’s Picks column & radio show are a local and national staple. One of her many literary events has been hosted here at the West Oakland Branch Library for 27 years: A Celebration of Black Writers and Their Poetry in February. A depth psychologist, Ms. Sabir’s interest and research is in historic trauma and its impact on memory.Recently appointed to the Alameda County Advisory Board for Realignment, Wanda Sabir also serves as board member for the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, where she participates on legal visiting teams.  An advocate of Diaspora Citizenship for descendants of formerly enslaved Africans, Ms. Sabir is also co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Maafa Commemoration in its 22nd Year this October 2017. See

Makeda aka Sandra Hooper Mayfield is a poet, journalist, tutor, counselor, and community activist, she is best known for her work with youth. Makeda developed and served as editor of the South County publication of the Oakland Post. In 2006 she won the Ella Hill Hutch award for her contribution to journalism. Makeda's work is published in three Alameda County Seniors poetry anthology's and a chapbook collection. she developed the "Third Saturday Open Mic."  and host's a annual artist retreat, Sugar Water.

Tyrice Deane is an MFA student receiving her degree in Creative Writing and Poetry. She writes from a identity focused lens, one that draws from her existence  navigating in America as a Black woman. Invested in female centric  issues, she works with Black and brown youth who are re entering academia from systems of confinement. She hopes to create spaces of learning that uplifts the very topic she writes on ... {black}identity

Some of the Wo2Wa member with Donte Clark writer Romeo is Bleeding

The goal was to form a creative platform where the 20 poets, 10 from each continent, who would exchange poems that encourage dialogue on topics such as race, class, love, happiness, identity and more. We knew that writing from the Griot tradition was a way to not only decolonize language but a move towards restoring social wounds that have left those from the diaspora and those from Africa lost in translation.

The last year of the Wo2Wa poetry exchange ( West Oakland to West Africa) has been filled with rejuvenation and transformation as poets from both places prepare to meet their partners in Ghana.

In order to pay the poets , fund the transcontinental poetry slam, and create handcrafted chapbooks we are asking for your support.  Any amount you can give will be appreciated. We would like to be equitable and share any proceeds with the West African poets many of whom are artists, students and educators in their own right.

We appreciate any support, no amount is too small to help us actualize the dream of travelling to Accra to meet our partners.


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    • $50 
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    • $25 
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Karla Brundage 
Oakland, CA
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