Hostos Community College - Women's History Month 2013Celebrating the work of Ntozake Shange at Hostos Community College in NYC. (Photo by Dominique Sindayiganza)

Ekere at Anderson UniversityWorking with the Peace and Conflict Transformation class at Anderson University in Indiana. (Photo by Stuart Ernie)

“Ekere’s words were challenging, nourishing, humorous, serious, and inspiring.  During her visit, her personality came through, revealing her kindness, her passion for writing, and her desire to encourage the people that were there.” Nathan Jensen, Associate Dean, Global Engagement, Orange Coast College

“In the span of 3 ½ hours, I felt that my experience with Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and her work was not only worthwhile but had a profound effect at Coastline Community College.  Her visit included poetry reading, Q&A, and a book signing.  With her words, students, staff, and faculty went from participants to aspiring writers.    She brought enthusiasm and attention to experiences that connected people from different backgrounds.  Regardless of whether the participants could relate to the her stories and words, Ekere created a sense of empathy that put feelings into words.”  Rene Gutierrez, Intercultural Resource Center Director,  Coastline Community College

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie brought poetry to life.  Her words coursed through the audience so smoothly that we felt the culture of the work, and it was almost tangible.  The influence she had on the audience was profound.  Even now students are thinking differently about their writing and about how to approach their careers as writers and teachers.  Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie!  We called, and you were the response.” Dr. Tamara Hollins, Associate Professor of English, Cheyney University

“Mariahadessa’s poetry touched me in a way that I was not expecting. It was refreshing to hear someone put into words the emotions I felt about  life. That day her poetry defined my experience as a black woman” Ronesha Strozier, student at Michigan Technological University

“Ekere was incredibly gracious with her time and talents. The students were completely engaged in her storytelling and her teaching. She gives students the same respect she would an established writer. In Ekere I found a fellow poet and a friend.” Dr. Chad Faries, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, Savannah State University 

“This was a wonderful experience for our school. It moved me to see the graciousness and patience with which Ms. Tallie worked with our students. She guided them through several writing activities with encouragement and wisdom. As a result, she helped them to think and write in ways that were new to them. It was evident that she has a deep respect for young people. The feedback I received is overwhelmingly positive. More than anything, our students realized that there is a community of writers in the world who are waiting for them to take their rightful place.” Lorri Giovinco, Assistant Principal, English Language Arts, Media, Business, Fine Arts, Harry S. Truman High School

“Tallie, you are a walking ball of poetic fire. I was worried truly at first that you were going to be like every other poet reader and I was completely wrong. That story of the gap in your teeth is so true. Your beauty is undeniable. It bursts from the inside to the outside. You are a person of simplicity and I could tell it is not generic but completely authentic.” Chicneccu Forde, student at Lehman College 

“Ms. Tallie is, simply put, amazingly talented; a wordsmith whose fiery grace tempers the iron weight of her words. Her willingness to fearlessly share experiences and details of her life that inspired her writings with the audience added a sense of realness and life to her work that couldn’t be replaced by simply reading the book alone. When she signed my book, she added the words “your voice matters.” That isn’t something girls like me hear very often and it’s something I will never forget.” Jasmin Robinson, student at Lehman College 

“It was awesome how we went into depth about life itself. It was very deep and it opened my mind.” Danielle, student at Harry S. Truman High School

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is an amazing young African American poet who shares great compassion and heart through her writing. Through a voice shaped by an African American experience she explores heart issues such as cherishing relationships, valuing connection, and finding  resilience.   As she gives her readings, she builds connections, making students and faculty alike, feel like they have been long time friends.   She also has the incomparable ability to remember audience members  who saw her in the previous year! Her visits to the classroom and students were equally engaging.  The consensus on our campus has been that her visits are spellbinding, inspirational, and spiritually uplifting in a way that opens people’s hearts and gets at the crux of our common humanity.   Our campus looks forward to having future opportunities to bring this positive energy to enrich our environment again in the future.” Dr. Phyllis May-Machunda, Professor of American Multicultural Studies, Minnesota State University Moorhead

“From the moment I met Ekere, I knew there was something different about her.  She had an extraordinary energy that changed the dynamics of the room.  People were drawn to her in a fascinating way.  Her presentation was very powerful.  Students hung on every word she spoke, as if they were right there with her in the poems.  She’s truly a gifted poet and speaker, but I think it’s her ability to connect with students that I’ll remember most.  I’ll never forget how they flocked to her after the presentation.  She reciprocated the attention very well going out of her way to make every student feel valued and appreciated.  Even introverted students opened up to her in ways I never thought possible.  All in all, it was a very positive experience, and I hope she’s able to impact many more campuses in the same way.” David Jensen, Director of Recruitment & Student Life, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls

“Ekere was truly amazing. I knew her work would resonate well with our students, but I was not expecting the deep connection she made with students in the short time she was on campus. She was so open, accessible and set everyone at ease. Her impact went far beyond her scheduled session and I know many students, faculty and staff enjoyed and learned so much from her powerful words.” Nadja Johnson, Director of Diversity and Student Success, Valley City State University

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie visited our campus as part of our Women’s History Month observations. During the day, Ekere met with students at an afternoon social. In this informal setting, Ekere shared her gift of empathy. She connected with and affirmed the spirit of each person present. At the evening reading from ‘Karma’s Footsteps,’ Ekere shared her gift for challenging bias, confronting the demons, and healing the brokenness. The morning after Ekere’s reading, I overheard students in the Women’s Center sharing with others the power of Ekere’s poetry. Ekere’s power and gentleness with words is both a comfort and a call to action.” Steven Bolduc, Professor, Department of Economics, Law & Politics, Minnesota State University Moorhead

“Her poetic, enthusiastic, and energetic nature make Ekere a wonderfully engaging addition to our guest speaker series at Lord Fairfax. Her poetry is a whirlwind of real life situations that our students could readily connect to. From the moment she took the mic, our students were captivated by her fluid poetry and contagious energy. Her visit was one of the highlights of our spring semester and we are already anxious to have her back next year!” Chris Lambert, Student Activities Coordinator, Lord Fairfax Community College

“Students and faculty alike were taken by Ekere’s reading. Even people who were not habitual readers/writers of poetry found her work accessible and engaging. During the subsequent Q&A, Ekere presented herself as a very real, down-to-earth person. Her personable manner and preparedness to chat “on the level” with anyone who engaged her was a great complement to her poetry and its focus on social justice. Similarly, the creative writing workshop she delivered democratized the classroom and accommodated a variety of learning styles.” Charlie Bondhus, Assistant Professor of English, Raritan Valley Community College

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie speaks with authority and grace, preaching the “Gospel of Poetry” to believers and skeptics alike.  She draws in anyone who might doubt the fundamental necessity of human expression and fills with renewed belief those who know its power.  Our campus was blessed by her recent visit, and we look forward to hosting her again soon.” Deborah Miller Fox, Asst. Professor of English, Anderson University

“Ekere Tallie came to visit Kennesaw State University in March 2104 as part of a joint effort between the English Department, the Gender and Women’s Studies program, and the Institute for Global Initiatives. Her stay was well worth coordinating this effort between multiple campus entities because she was a big success on our campus. We had large crowds turn out for her poetry reading, which was dynamic, funny, powerful, moving, and engaging. The audience was completely connected with Ekere and would have listened longer. Additionally, Ekere did a class visit for us the next day and discussed her knowledge of both poetry and herbalism and led an intense class conversation about racism and sexism. The students could not stop talking about her. A large group of them left class and went directly to the bookstore to buy Ekere’s book of poetry. If you invite Ekere Tallie to your campus, you will have a dynamic speaker, talented poet, as well as someone who knows how to connect with students and help them to think more deeply about these topics.” Laura Davis, Associate Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies, Kennesaw State University

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie was a beacon for life, love and the importance of the beautiful struggle during her recent visit to our campus. Ours is a primarily white campus, and I was impressed and moved by Ekere’s ability to both connect with the white students in a meaningful and challenging way–so many students talked about how “real” they found her–as well as function as an extremely important human resource for our students of color. In fact, because of her conversation with one of our students of color re her treatment by peers in the residence halls here, I was able to reach out to the director of residence and we are now talking about setting up a program for student residents to learn how to be more culturally sensitive to one another. I can’t wait to have Ekere back, and I can’t recommend her enough to anyone who is looking for an artist and speaker who will warm and stimulate the hearts and minds of all who hear her.” Catherine MacGillivray, Ph.D., Director of Women’s & Gender Studies, University of Northern Iowa

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie was an excellent choice as a Keynote Speaker in our “Women’s History Month” program. From the moment she began to share her academic and personal journey as a writer, educator and activist the audience was totally captivated. Her vivid and engaging poetry offered the audience an intimate account of the struggles as well as the triumphs associated with “following one’s dream”. It was apparent that her discussion positively impacted the audience as evidenced by their questions and feedback.”   Frances Robinson, LMSW, Program Manager/The Women’s Center, Kingsborough Community College

” Within our small, yet intimate group, Ekere Tallie shared poetic inspirations that developed into critical discussions on race and gender as it relates to relationships on our college campus. Personal stories were shared and Ekere gave back encouraging and valuable advice. Her warm demeanor contributed to the relaxed setting and we thoroughly enjoyed her time with us. ” Charlease Cannon, Student and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Rhodes College

“Mariahdessa Ekere Tallie is a wonderful poet whose commitment to social justice both challenges and supports college students, faculty, and staff. Ekere is incredibly engaging and connected to each person on a personal level through her workshop, reading, and book signing. If you provide an audience, Ekere Tallie will undoubtedly deliver an unforgettable experience.” Cory Campbell, Director of Student Engagement, Seton Hill University

“Ekere was absolutely delightful!  Our students, faculty, and staff loved hearing her speak.  Ekere has the ability to paint pictures with words which makes what she has to say much more powerful and lasting.  She challenged everyone to look at themselves in a new light through her poetry.  I expect to hear great things about Ekere as I think her “fame” will grow as her talent is undeniable.” Gladys Childs, Visiting Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Texas Wesleyan University

” Mariahdessa Ekere Tallie is a wonderful poet and an empathetic, generous teacher.  After her reading on our campus, there was a record-breaking line of community members, students, and faculty eager to buy her book and talk with her one-on-one.  She reminded our community that poetry, at its best, should startle and console, disturb and uplift, provoke and heal.  If you’re looking for a poet who will offer your students hope and guidance and give your audience a performance to remember, then Tallie should be your first choice.” Eric Schwerer, Associate Professor of Writing, The University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

“In addition to being charming, warm and welcoming, Ekere’s messages of social justice and equity for women and people of color inspired everyone in the room during her reading at the Kansas City Art Institute. She makes dark and difficult subjects approachable.” Andrea Khan, Registrar and Director of Academic Resources, Kansas City Art Institute 

“Working with Dominique and Ekere was a pleasure from start to finish. The mutual respect that they have for each other makes working with them easy and honest. All the back work is done before Ekere gets to the venue so that you can relax and enjoy her magnetic presence and down-to-earth personality. If you’re on the fence about booking Ekere, get off, and call Dom.” Erienne L. Fawcett, Assistant Director Women and Gender Studies, North Dakota State University

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is a kind spirit and truly inspired Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.  I was delighted to spend the day with her. She had much to share and listened to my story. During her “playshop” and poetry reading Ekere connected with each individual in the room and soon together we found desire to know more and to ask any question. Each person felt welcomed in Ekere’s presence. Students informed our Women’s Studies Program that having Ekere Tallie share her poetry and willingly answer any of their questions meant so much. The day with Ekere Tallie was a joy and I know I will always look back with a smile and warmth.”  Kirstie Dienert, Student and Women Studies Program Intern, Concordia College

“Ekere captivated the audience, comprised of mostly undergraduates, initially with her poetry, and then in her answers to the discussion questions that followed.  After the event, the room remained filled, the audience staying to ask follow up questions, present their own poems, and further vocalize their admiration and enthusiasm for Ekere’s poetry and presence.”  Jordan Stempleman, Lecturer, Kansas City Art Institute

“Within moments of meeting Mariahdessa Ekere Tallie, during her visit to the Kansas City Art Institute and the Writers’ Place in Kansas City, I found her to be filled with warmth and compassion. It was impossible not to like her immediately. At her reading, Ekere inspired her listeners with both her poetry and her personality. Ekere’s powerful poems enthralled her listeners, and the stories behind them allowed insight into her creative process and how she filters her experiences into art. Most notable was Ekere’s willingness to spend time conversing with the students who attended her reading. Those students walked away invigorated and smiling. Throughout her visit, Ekere was willing to go with the flow and excited to experience the “real” Kansas City. It was our good fortune to host such an exuberant and down-to-earth individual.” Alison L. Miller, Assistant, Registrar’s Office, Kansas City Art Institute

“Despite having been delayed by snow and sitting in an airport for half of the day, Ekere Tallie arrived smiling and joyful and stayed that way for her entire visit to The Writers Place and the Kansas City Art Institute.  She was easy to be with, easy to know, and within moments it felt like I was with an old soul I’ve known for years.  Her reading was wonderful.  She surveyed her audience, knew she had a crowd of people used to listening to the written word, and read us some of her “quieter” poems as she said.  They were intelligent, layered, and powerful.  Extroverted and positive, she exuded a radiance that drew people to her, and we all vied for our time with her.  Although I didn’t attend the workshop, I heard only good reports of how wonderful it was.  We hope she comes back to Kansas City some time in the future.” Maryfrances Wagner, The Writers Place Programming Chair

“Ekere Tallie’s visit to Kansas City and The Writers Place was a tonic for my spirit. Not only did I delight in her company, but she reminded me of my passion for justice that arose many years ago from when I first became involved in the Women’s Movement. Social Justice is never passé. Not for any of us. But as well as passion, her laughter is contagious. She encouraged dialogue during her reading as well as during her workshop, and we all participated willingly. She’s well-read, possesses a rich and vibrant voice, is a great workshop leader, and a magnetic personality. I’ll look forward to seeing her again.” Janet Sunderland, Member, The Writers Place; Vice-President, Whispering Prairie Press

“From the moment we saw her smile and shook Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie’s hand we knew Saint Mary’s campus was in for a treat. Her ability to comfortably share her journey through poetry left the listening audience with several smiles and chuckles that ran deep. Her poetic words are like the woven thread to a beautiful quilt…each patch telling its own story and together creating a rich history.” Bianca L. Tirado, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Multicultural Services, Saint Mary’s College

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is a very talented artist and educator. What impressed me the most is her ability to connect with students and share her story. She touched the lives of many during her visit, motivating them to believe in the power of their words. She is extremely passionate and dedicated about her work. It was a pleasure having her on campus for the workshop and keynote!” Rocio Ayard-Ochoa, Associate Director of Campus Student Affairs,  Ashford University  

“I was able to greatly relate to Ekere! I learned that we continue to define ourselves every single day and that the past does not define our future. I had a great experience! “Kelsie Streeter, student at Ashford University

“Having the experience of participating in Ekere’s workshop was quite interesting and eye opening. She allowed me to go into my mind and express my ideas in writing. She allowed the group in the workshop to be free when it came to creativeness. Ekere’s poems were interesting and they took everyday ideas and turned them into captivating stories.” Jasmine Nelson, student at Ashford University

Ekere Tallie is a poet who knows the vitality of words and the importance of the intent behind them.  I haven’t thought of myself as a poet since a writer’s workshop the summer after high school. Following Ekere’s reading and speaking with her during the book signing I may be willing to take on that label again.” Rebecca Rewoldt, student at University of Northern Iowa

“From the moment she arrived on campus, Ekere graced us with her energetic presence. The impassioned craft on display during her reading spoke to essential ideas about race, gender, and art with a resonant voice. In her workshop, Ekere showed the students dynamic ways to create poetry, staying long after the allotted time to speak with the many who wished for just a little more of her guidance. I admired her poetry before her visit, but now I admire her equally as a teacher and a vital positive voice.  We missed that vitality as soon as she had left. Plus, she was delighted by seeing cows on the ride from the airport, and that cracked me up.” Chris Murphy, Instructor of English, Northeastern State University

“Ekere Tallie’s message of hope and renewal fit perfectly with this year’s theme of “Transcendence” as it encouraged all who listened to her poetry and experienced her wonderfully magnetic and nurturing personality to be conscious about the space we occupy in the lives of others. Through her, we became astutely aware of the fact that we are part of a community of voices that empowers us and inspires us to excellence. Her message was one that our students, faculty, and staff needed to hear. They are still talking about how great it was to get to know her. She made a difference in their academic careers and their personal lives, and we were deeply moved by her positivity and her belief that “together we can change things.” Jeffery Mack, Associate Professor of English, Albany State University

“Ekere was a wonderful performer, and during the discussion that followed her reading, she gave some of the most thoughtful answers to student questions that I’ve heard in years of attending poetry events. I appreciate, too, how generously she shared her time with our students, talking with them about the joys and challenges of being a poet, as well as supporting and cheering on the students’ own poetry. I look forward to teaching her work in my poetry and women’s studies courses!” Jennifer Perrine, Associate Professor of English; Director, Women’s and Gender Studies, Drake University

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is a performer with heart and substance both. She captured the minds and imaginations of our conference attendees with her work, her passion and her generosity of spirit. We were truly enriched by her presence and presentation.” Lauren Alleyne, Assistant Professor of English; Poet in Residence, University of Dubuque

“Ekere is a wonderful spirit to be around and she delivered an amazing keynote presentation for our students. I would definitely recommend her to all of my colleagues” Mishereen Ellis, Director of Multicultural Student Engagement, University of Dubuque

“Ekere Tallie is one of the most down to earth, inspirational women I’ve ever met. She has a genuine spirit, and has a true talent for poetry and spoken word. Upon seconds of meeting her I felt I could open up to her more than I could to some of my closest friends. The workshop she conducted was eye-opening. She instilled belief and confidence in people that didn’t think they could write. Her material took people to places in themselves they haven’t touched in a while. She made people uncomfortable, made people laugh, made people passionate, made people inspired. In the midst of all of this, the only thing she could reciprocate is how much all of our students inspired her. Ekere Tallie is a wonderful woman and has made a friend of Drake University and the Coalition of Black Students.” Tess L. Montgomery, student and President of the Coalition of Black Students, Drake University

“Ekere Tallie gave one of the most moving and personal readings we’ve ever had at Christian Brothers University. Students and faculty are still talking about her visit, over a week later. Her writing is honest, and it cuts to the heart of human experience. After her reading, one of the students in attendance said, “I have something to say to you.” She paused for a second and continued. “I wasn’t even going to come today, but my friend brought me. And because of you, I’m changing my major from math to do what I love, art with a minor in creative writing.” Then she said, “You changed everything for me.” What more can you ask for?” Karen B. Golightly, Ph.D. Associate Professor of English, Director, Fresh Reads, Christian Brothers University

“I can say that Ekere is one of the warmest, most open hearted people I have ever met. Whether she was speaking on stage at an open air plaza event with 300 people milling about, at a formal dinner with our staff and a rambunctious toddler, or in a small group with a few students who obviously benefitted in so many ways from her one to one attention and interest; Ekere connects and holds space with people in a way that is rare and beautiful.  She speaks, listens and sees with her whole being and shares her work in a way that makes everyone present feel as if she is speaking just to them.  She can fill a stage or room with her fiercely quiet presence while at the same time making the audience the center of her focused attention.  Ekere touched our program, our hosted teen guests and our students in a way that I am sure will be remembered for years to come. I don’t know how we will top this experience, other than having her return for a longer visit. I cannot recommend Ekere Tallie highly enough.  Experience her work anyway you can, whether it be by sharing her work with a class room of students, inviting her to speak at a large venue event, or curled up under a quilt with just her beautiful words and a cup of tea to warm you! ” Susan Warfield, MSW, LICSW Program Director, Student Parent HELP Center, Office for Student Affairs, University of Minnesota 

“Three lines into Ekere’s reading I turned to our Director of Multicultural Affairs and said, “Well she’s earned her money. We can go home now!” Ekere did exactly what we brought her to campus to do – to foster discussions about the complexities of race, culture, socioeconomics, and gender. Even more impressive was the warmth and grace with which she did so as she interacted throughout the day with students, faculty, and administrators – creating a welcoming environment in which to discuss these sometimes uncomfortable issues. I cannot wait for her next book to be released so that we can invite her back.”  Teresa Grettano, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept. of English & Theatre Director of First-Year Writing The University of Scranton

“Students are not always excited about poetry, but that cannot be true for the Jackson State University students who attended the poetry reading with Ekere Tallie.  With an open and inviting style, Ekere read from her collection of relevant and thought-provoking poetry which held all of the students and faculty in the auditorium attentively captive.  We were all so pleased with her reading!  And the workshop she conducted afterward proved to be equally as enlightening and enjoyable. The exercises she provided were so engaging and her presentation style was so personable that several students remained an hour after the workshop’s end discussing poetry with her.  I am so glad we invited Ekere and would love to have her come back.”  RaShell Smith-Spears, Associate Professor of English, Jaskson State University

“Ekere’s performance of poems from her book Karma’s Footsteps was wonderful. However, it was her warm and inviting disposition that made her visit to The University of Scranton was an incredible success! During her guest lecture to our creative writing students, lunch with members of the University’s chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society or her evening performance, the common theme was the sense that Ekere genuinely enjoyed being on our campus and sharing her gifts and graces with our community. The first comment students made after her visit was “when is she coming back?!?” Paul L. Porter, Ph.D. Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, The University of Scranton

“Impacted by Ekere Tallie’s impassioned invitation for them to keep reading poetry, two students asked me to teach Tallie’s “Forced Entry” in conjunction with Ntozake Shange’s “No Immediate Cause.” What a class session we had! The students admired Tallie’s poem, which resonated deeply with several students’ experiences and fueled all students’ appreciation of the power of words.”– Jerilyn Fisher, Professor of English, Coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies, Hostos Community College

“Ekere is my favorite guest we have had at Northeastern State University. Our students thoroughly enjoyed her workshop. I’ve never seen students so mesmerized. You could feel the inspiration and creativity flowing in the room. Her poetry reading was fantastic; Ekere’s talent is effortless. She is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. ” Rylee L. Ketcher, Coordinator of Continuing Education and Professional Development,  Northeastern State University

“Ekere was such a pleasure to host. Students in our creative writing courses were amazed at her passion and excitement for poetry and the creative process of poetry. Her workshop was powerful and exciting, and the reading she gave of her works was certainly one of the best we have hosted in a very long time. So glad we had Ekere come, and hope to see here again soon.”  Dr. Leslie D Hannah, Director of Cherokee Programs, Northeastern State University

During her visit to the University of Southern Mississippi, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie charmed audiences with her conscious rousing poetry and candid reflections about life and love during the interludes of her reading. The intimacy of the Cook Library Art Gallery was the ideal space indeed for Ekere to “leave her colors everywhere”! Her work appealed to a broad audience from throughout USM’s campus and the local communities. Many of them stood waiting in line for almost an hour following her presentation just to thank Ekere for sharing her soulful and inspiring  lyrics. (I had several students that also thanked me for bringing Ekere to campus since they felt that such cultural events are often rare.) Her poetry workshop also taught attendees to become more authentic in their writing.– Sherita L. Johnson, Associate Professor of English and Director of The Center for Black Studies, University of Southern Mississippi

“The workshop with Ekere allowed me to get in touch with a part of myself that I had suppressed for more than 20 years…my ability to express myself through writing.  I want to say thank you so much to Ekere for helping me discover an important part of my identity that was pushed aside, covered up, and eventually lost…but not completely forgotten, at least not anymore!” — Cassandra C. Huey, M.S., Doctoral Student, 
Graduate Instructor & Research Assistant
Human Development & Family Studies
, Texas Tech University

“Ekere Tallie’s writing workshop and poetry reading left a profound impression on our students, faculty, and staff. The students from my literature class thanked me several times for the opportunity to meet Ekere and talk about feminism, writing, and activism. One participant said that she was never really aware of the power of a poetry reading until she attended your event. Another commented that he had not deeply understood how experiences of race and gender intersect until he listened to your reading. Ekere’s visit is an experience none of us will forget.”— Dr. Kelli Zaytoun, Associate Professor of English, Wright State University

“During her visit to TAMIU, Mariahdessa spoke to over 200 people, and motivated them on so many levels.  She inspired audiences to become confident “warriors”.  Tallie’s charisma was infectious and refreshing, a well needed and welcomed gift to the TAMIU community.  She inspired students and faculty alike to appreciate the beauty and blessings around them: campus life, student quality and dynamics, wild life, and nature.  Faculty raved about her ability to connect with the students and the readability and relatablity of her poetry.” — Kimberly Thomas, Writing Center Director, Texas A&M International University

“Ekere spent time with our faculty and helped them understand the importance of creative writing in all subjects. Ekere provided tools and resources to guide the faculty as they incorporate Common Core Learning Standards into their lessons and curriculum maps. Ekere brought a fresh perspective to reading and writing poetry. She was able to connect well with our students and taught them in a way that they could relate their own life experiences. Our students fell in love with her!” — Kelly McHugh, Principal, Whitehall Jr-Sr High School

“I thought Ekere was an excellent speaker.  She spoke very clearly and was so kind.  I loved the poem that she wrote about her mother.  I was inspired when she said she started writing when she was 16.  I enjoyed listening to her pieces of work and I can’t wait to read one of her books.” — Maia McDonald, 12 grader, Whitehall Jr-Sr High School

“Ekere pours her heart and soul into everything she does and everyone she meets.  She’s true and genuine, and finds the positive in all that surrounds her.  My students were touched by this on such a deep level.  Ekere did more for my students than just teach about poetry and creative writing.  She listened and my students felt validated.” — Karen Short, English Teacher , Whitehall Jr-Sr High School

“Ekere led a small generative workshop with students that helped them see the poetic potential in everyday circumstances, and several of my creative writers said they found it very helpful. And her reading was warm, funny, and moving, giving students to poetry as a thoughtful emotional outlet for difficult and complicated emotions.” — Matt Dube, Assistant Professor in English, William Woods University

“Ekere’s workshop reminded me how important it is to shine my light onto the world through my writing.” — Kendra Tillberry, Graduate Assistant, University Student Housing, Texas Tech University

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is a gifted, hardworking poet and educator.  At her visit to Adelphi University, she gave an extraordinary reading of her work to a standing-room-only audience.  Her work inspires the work of others; she is a poet who cares about the craft of poetry, and also about the world in which we live. “– Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Associate Professor and Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing, Adelphi University

“Ekere’s visit to MHC was incredibly inspiring for students and faculty alike.  Her poetic talent and dynamic personal presence made a huge impression on our campus.  Ekere’s work opens the hearts and minds of diverse audiences through her passion, compassion, and humor.” — Dr. Adrienne V. Akins, Assistant Professor of English Department of Language and Literature, Mars Hill College

“A high point of 2012 has been to reconnect with Ekere Tallie.  Ekere is actually amazing. She moved with grace among two classrooms filled  with college students and community members, one children’s after-school  literacy program, and one Unitarian Universalist women’s group.  Her wit and  wisdom were evident in all that she did.  One little boy begged her to come  to his classroom the next day.  She is always welcome back here in Brevard, NC.” — Carol Flake, Distinguished Professor Emerita University of South Carolina, Columbia

“During Women’s History Month at Hostos Community College, Ekere Tallie recited some of her inspiring poetry that was filled with love, hate, and real life situations. Through her poems, she elaborates her feelings to creates deep emotion in her  readers. Through her poems, candidly, Tallie speaks of issues that the majority of women face in the “real world”.  She touched our hearts with her poetry, inspiring many of us who are female to cope with difficult emotions. In my opinion, I believe that Tallie has a gift and through her poetic voice, she will move people to think differently and may even change people’s perspectives.” — Jasmin Rivera, student at Hostos Community College

“Ekere commits herself wholeheartedly — from sharing her poems to engaging with students, to reveling in the presence of an ancient Ginkgo tree.  Her generous and effervescent spirit enriched us when she visited our campus, and it lingers still as we read and reread her poems. Bravo!  And thank you!” — Katherine R. Lynes, PhD Assistant Professor English Department Africana Studies Program, Union College



2 comments on “Testimonials

  1. Keshaunna Lunsford says:

    I think you did a wonderful job!

  2. Clydia Chamberlaine says:

    I truly enjoyed the workshop! I am now able to express myself more on paper. There are many of times when I need to release stress, I find it very peaceful to pick up a pen and just write.

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