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2022 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

Introducing Ajanae Dawkins: Writer and Performance Artist


The Taft Museum of Art and the Robert S. Duncanson Society welcomes writer, performer, and educator Ajanae Dawkins, as the 2022 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence April 10–23, 2022. 

Dawkins has performed, and has been featured, at venues across the country including opening for the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and for the Taft’s first Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, poet Nikki Giovanni. 


Her work has been published in the EcoTheo ReviewThe BreakBeat Poets Black Girl Magic Anthology, The Offing, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Winter Tangerine, The Blueshift Journal, Voicemail Poems, The Underscore Review, Word Riot, Gramma Poetry, The Rumpus, and other anthologies and journals. Dawkins work has also been featured on For Harriet, Def Jam, and Button Poetry and in EBONY Magazine for the "Faces of Frustration: A Year of Racial Protest."  

Dawkins has not only demonstrated her talent with numerous published and performed works but has garnered national recognition for her craft. Dawkins is the winner of Tinderbox Poetry Journal’s Editors Prize; a finalist for the Cave Canem Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize; a finalist for the Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize. She is a two-time individual finalist for the Rust Belt regional slam, crowning her as one of the top five poets in the Midwest, twice. She was also a contributing writer for the Theatre LILA of Madison, Wisconsin.  

Currently, Dawkins is a fellow of The Watering Hole writer’s retreat for African American writers and of Pink Door Writing Retreat. She is also an editor for Voicemail Poems, the 2020 Nancy Craig Blackburn Fellow as an MFA candidate at Randolph College, an Alford Scholar as an M.Div. candidate at Methodist Theological School of Ohio, and has recently been selected as a co-host of the Poetry Foundation's The VS Podcast.

For two weeks in April 2022, Dawkins is leading public programs, teach workshops, and visit schools across Greater Cincinnati. 




Featured Work from Ajanae Dawkins

Discover the work of this year’s Duncanson Artist-in-Residence before she joins the Taft Museum of Art this spring! Please note: some material covered in Dawkins’ work may not be suitable for all audiences such as descriptions about sexual/domestic violence. 


Questions I Can't Get to the End of Without Bleeding Out

Video Credit: The Lincoln Theatre and Fulray Productions

On Decolonizing the Body

Published in Winter Tangerine


Residence Sponsor

Program Sponsor

Phyllis McCallum and Steve Jemison

Artist Accommodations

Generously provided by Morgan and Eddie Rigaud


Media Support Provided by

The Cincinnati Herald
The Voice of Black Cincinnati

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