Umohowet Yelayu

Umohowet Yelayu

Writing since December 2016 18 stories contributed

Born in the Midwestern United States, Umohowet Taushi Yelayu is an independent writer, pianist, composer, poet, & journalist, who has received recognition, grants, & funding from The Academy of American Poets, Sundance Institute, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, National YoungArts Foundation, United States Artists, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Amazon Literary Partnership, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, & The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. His debut collection of poetry, a full length volume entitled Erstwhile Orbits & Newformed Spheres, was published in 2019. As a freelance journalist, he is a contributor to the Forbes-recognized Blavity®, a new-media and tech company for forward thinking Black millennials pushing the boundaries of culture and the status quo. He maintains a personalized brand on Medium®, one of the largest social journalism platforms in the world with 60 million unique readers per month. As a classically-trained pianist, Yelayu performs classical repertoire in solo, ensemble, and concert; he also composes for solo piano. As musician, songwriter, and singer, Yelayu creates musical sketches and songs which often tie into his poetry. His music is available internationally on Apple Music®, iTunes®, Spotify®, Amazon®, and all major music streaming and distribution services. Professionally, Yelayu is a former educator and nonprofit administrator. He worked as a Social-Emotional-Learning expert and Climate & Culture Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the United States. Before that, he was an Administrator for an educational nonprofit partnership between the University of Chicago, the Network of Woodlawn, and Apostolic COG which facilitated the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools literacy program in schools throughout Chicago. In his free time, Yelayu teaches martial arts and yoga.

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