U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo

U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo is a Boston-based Zimbabwean-American poet, performance artist, storyteller, and educator with an international reach and a transnational lens. Her debut poetry collection, Soul Psalms (She Writes Press), was published in April 2016, and hailed by David Updike as “a fearless female voice … tempered with optimism and healing possibilities of love.” Mhlaba-Adebo holds a Master’s in Education from Lesley University, focusing on multicultural education and theatre arts, and an undergraduate degree in Social Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. An accomplished and dedicated educator/facilitator with over 20 years of experience in teaching writing and wellness through the Arts across a range of settings including schools, community centers, colleges, hospitals, libraries, and shelters. She is also the founder of Maoko Project, an arts-based consulting practice in DEI, Wellness, Performance, and Education guided by Ndau ( Shona) principles stemming from the breadth of her experience working with individuals, schools, and organizations. She is a 2021 Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship recipient from the Arts and Business Council of Boston. A recipient of the BIPOC Arts Leaders Ripple Grant by the Cultural Equity Leadership ( ACI) and a 2021 Recipient of a DEI Workplace Certificate from the University of Florida Muma School Of Business. Her recent work is featured on PBS World Channel and GBH “Suitcase Stories” about hyphenated identity “Growing Up Black Part 2”, in PR campaigns with running groups like the poem “ We Be Womxn” which is in Boston City Hall as part of the 2021 Mayors Poetry Program. She is a member of the New England Poetry Club, National Writers Union, and an advisory board member of Dorchester’s reading and writing platform: Write On the Dot. She lives in Boston with her husband and son who is also a young poet.

Photo credit: ADKphotography