In casual conversation, Kondwani Fidel has a cool and approachable demeanor, but once on stage, this poet turns to fire. The passion he brings to his work has taken the Baltimore native and based artist to countless universities, conferences, and literary events across the country. He has also has toured in the United Kingdom and lectured and taught classes at the University of East London.
FIdel's lyrical poetry boasts of Baltimore's vibrant colors, and rich culture in the midst of violence. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Mic, CNN, The Root, and Baltimore City Paper, the latter of which published his viral and influential essay, "How A Young Boy Has Been Decaying In Baltimore Since Age 10: A Death Note."
Like Jay is to Brooklyn, like Chance is to Chicago-- Fidel is more than a champion for Baltimore. He is Baltimore. What The Atlantic calls "America's most dangerous city," the esteemed poet and essayist simply calls home. In 2018, The Baltimore Sun honored Fidel in its heralded ‘Best of Baltimore’ issue, for his courage, innovative thinking, and leadership in local schools and communities. Fidel writes under his late baby brother's name as a reminder that there is work to be done.
Fidel is a M.F.A. Candidate in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of his independently published collections, Hummingbirds in the Trenches (2018,) and Raw Wounds (2017). When he's not writing, when he's not reading, when he's not performing, he can be found advocating literacy for youth and young adults through his apparel line, READ.