aja monet’s poems are a work of gravity. A surrealist blues poet, storyteller, and organizer born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, aja won the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam poetry award title in 2007. In 2018, she was nominated for a NAACP Literary Award for Poetry and in 2019 was awarded the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award for Poetry for her cultural organizing work in South Florida. Her work moves, constantly, between origin and outcome, allowing them to exist in converse. In her debut album when the poems do what they do, releasing June 9 via drink sum wtr, we glimpse her indefatigable commitment to speak. Those thematic origins of this album at times center around Black resistance, love and the inexhaustible quest for joy. In when the poems do what they do, aja monet appears as a woman of letters and storm, her poems do not roar in pentameter - but rather in storm surge because, “Who’s got time for poems when the world is on fire?!.” And this work isn’t one to pull apart into one liners, these are poems of things felt. There is a fullness here that can’t be encapsulated in even the boundaries that language offers. aja is joined in effort on this album by musicians Christian Scott (trumpet), Samora Pinderhughes (piano), Elena Pinderhughes (flute), Luques Curtis (bass), Weedie Braimah (djembe) and Marcus Gilmore (drums). Together, creating music that is insistent and unrelenting. When you finally reach the end of this album, you are left with a similar feeling you get when heartbroken, the gravity of barrelling back down to earth, sopping wet with tears, out of breath, overcome with love, despair, hope, and all too aware that all of this, is over far too soon. When the poems do what they do, they do absolutely everything.