Award-winning Poet Mecca “MeccaMorphosis” Verdell. (Courtesy photo)

By AFRO Staff

Mecca “MeccaMorphosis” Verdell is an exceptional young poet. In 2016 she shocked the poetry world and put Baltimore on the map as a not-to-be-ignored underdog collective when she became the Brave New Voices International Champion. The win established her as a notable contender in the spoken word arena.

In 2020, Verdell won the DC Poet Project, an open-to-all poetry competition which offers the winner a book contract. The DC Poet Project is a project of the literary arts non-profit Day Eight. Entering its sixth year in 2021, the DC Poet Project is a highly competitive competition that supports the development and publication of poetry and prose by emerging writers who are based in the DMV. Past winners prior to Verdell include Susan Meehan, John Johnson and Kevin Wiggins.

Verdell’s premiere book, Things to Unlearn, is a bold and uncompromising collection of prose and poetry that is firmly grounded in Black radical poetic traditions that assesses and acknowledges the humanity of Black lives. Verdell’s voice speaks from the perspective of a defiant generation of creatives and change-makers who are not afraid to engage in the tireless struggle to tear down old constructs and forge new hopes for sustainable Black futures.