Meet Safia Elhillo, our poet of the day!!!

Safia Elhillo (Arabicصافية الحلو‎)is a Sudanese-American poet famous for her written and spoken poetry. Elhillo received a BA from theGallatin School at New York University and an MFA in poetry from The New School. Elhillo is best known for her slam poetry performances and has performed all around the world. Elhillo has been praised for her work and has been the recipient of several prestigious poetry awards.[1] Elhillo has shared the stage with notable poets such as Sonia Sanchezand currently teaches at Split This Rock.[2]

Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many publications, including Poetry (magazine)Callaloo (journal), and TheAcademy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day series,[4] among others, and in anthologies including “The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop” and “Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism.” [5]

Elhillo has shared her work on platforms such as TEDxNewYork,[6][7] Under Armour’s “Unlike Any” campaign,[8][9] the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and TV1’s Verses & Flow.

Elhillo has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, was a co-winner of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, won the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation,[10] Crescendo Library, and the Poetry Foundation‘s Poetry Incubator.[1]


Full-Length Collections

  • The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). 


  • ars poetica (MIEL, 2016)
  • a suite for ol’ dirty (MIEL, 2016)
  • Asmarani (Akashic Books, 2016)
  • The Life and Times of Susie Knuckles (Well & Often Press, 2012)


In the January Children, Elhillo explores themes of belonging and identity, particularly in the context of migration and nationality.[10] In her other works, Ellhillo also explores themes of love, or that be of its absence, and also of men, form their prowling nature to their unmet desires.  


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