If Poetry Were A Woman
The next Woman to be featured in my Women’s History Month Empowerment series is the multi-faceted, ultra dynamic Jherelle Benn, better known as “Relle The Poet”. I first met Relle at an event in Brooklyn back in 2015/2016 and was instantly captivated by her artistic prowess. Not only was she a featured poet at that event, but she was selling earrings, book marks and other items she had made, some of which were hand crafted.
As talented as Relle is, it is her mind and how she uses words that draws people to her, which I guess in essence is part of her talent.
“I proliferate possibilities with perfectly placed periods.”
Read some of her bio below;
To proliferate is to multiply. Jherelle Benn best known as, Relle the Poet, uses her natural talent and adoration for the art of poetry to multiply opportunities for herself and other artists in her community.
Relle began writing at a very young age. This expression became her outlet of choice and a form of therapy to cope with trials in life. Being born in Trinidad and raised in Brooklyn, NY created a strong sense of culture and birthed a colorful perspective sewed into the lines of her poetry.
“Think of these bars as the walls of your natural cocoon, and when they thought you was finished, just tell them STAY TUNED”
Relle evolved into a spoken word activist when she began to perform and use poetry as a medium (along with journalism) to speak out against injustice.
Working as a Program Director with Green Earth Poets Cafe put Relle in a position to bring poetry workshops and art therapy to incarcerated youth on Rikers Island. In the same position at the Brooklyn Arts Council, she was able to connect young artists with the resources in their community.
Relle the Poet went on to obtain a Bachelors degree in journalism from Brooklyn College and serve as News Editor for the school paper during her senior year. During this time she received awards and recognition for writing an in-depth article on, Eric Adams, the current mayor of New York City.
One of the things I personally admire and respect about Relle and her work is that she has found a way to blend her skills and passions with those of her children. She’s curated and hosted various parent & children themed events and spaces.
Additionally, I love the fact Relle treats her poetry as performance art, and not merely written or spoken word. She’s turned poems into visually stimulating cinematic pieces.
Here, read more of her bio;
Relle is known to speak with a fiery passion and is dedicated to sharing not only her own voice, but uplifting the voice of others. She brought these words of fire when she blazed the stage opening for the inauguration of NYC Senator, Jesse Hamilton.
She has been published in The Brooklyn Reader, Odyssey online, Reveal Mag, Red Hook Star-Revue, Voyage ATL, Fame Live Magazine and a host of other online / local publications. She has performed internationally on stages in Trinidad and Tobago and Amsterdam. She took her poetry on the road as part of the “Am I Next?”, inter-state poetry tour, which hit NYC, Philly, and Detroit.
“The next time I go forward or need to back up in life, I’m gonna eliminate the distractions. Those insecurities that pit sister against sister and cause unnecessary collisions.”
In 2017 Relle self-published her first collection, In Disarray, an anthology of poems, short stories, and letters. She worked her growing network to self-promote and organized several solo tours pushing herself on foot and selling hundreds of copies of her book in the years following its release. In 2021 Relle took her poetry to the big screen and her video poem “Crazy Black Woman” was selected and showcased in the Cadence Film Festival as well as the Divine Feminine Arts & Film Festival. In 2022 “Crazy Black Women” received international acclaim when showcased in the Zebra Poetry Festival in Berlin. Ask the poet what she is most proud of, she’ll tell you it’s her twins, who were born shortly after she released her book and were the inspiration to finally publish. The twins have inherited her love and passion for art and music.
Relle is an all around superstar! I am thankful and honored to know her.
Relle, thank you for your immeasurable contributions to humanity and to the great history of Black Women in this country. On this 29th day of Women’s History Month, 2022, we thank you, we celebrate you, and we appreciate you. Thank you.
Recently Relle has joined Von Trapp Network and is fostering relationships with various non-profits and community initiatives. Her debut poetry album releases summer 2022. She is looking forward to all the possibilities her poetry will create.