Twin Poets & Mélomanie - United Sounds of America
Twin Poets Al Mills and Nnamdi Chukwuocha combine forces with Mélomanie in United Sounds of America, a collaboration of poetry, music, deep personal expression, and fearless social commentary.
United Sounds of America is a poetry and music collaboration of the Twin Poets, Mélomanie, composer Mark Hagerty, and percussionist/composer Jonathan Whitney. The program of 11 poems was performed to full houses and standing ovations in 2018. Delaware’s Poets Laureate, Albert Mills and Nnamdi Chukwuocha, performed their original poetry. Mélomanie accompanied and responded with music.
Audience members, performers, and arts organizations agreed that the work had to be captured on video and shared more broadly. We recorded the poems to maintain the excitement of the live performances and to capture the urgent topicality of the title work, United Sounds of America, which speaks unflinchingly and yet hopefully to this moment in our country.
The Twin Poets are activist, community-based street poets whose work has been filmed, awarded, and published. In their art and in their lives, they are committed to communities, especially children, that struggle every day with crime, prejudice, violence, and lack of opportunity. They have inspired hundreds to rise above their difficult circumstances, strive for their potential, and make a difference themselves. As direct and grounded as their messages may be, they are artists with language whose work is especially compelling in live performance.
No one who has witnessed a performance or read a poem by the Twin Poets would deny the power of their poetry. Their compassion and commitment are stated simply in their mission statement: To awaken the revolutionary spirits buried deep within the souls of an oppressed people. For the past decade and a half these two Wilmington/Philadelphia-based wordsmiths have been warriors on the frontline for our community. Their goal is to teach children about the importance of self-expression as well as writing down their thoughts to help themselves and others who have the same struggles and challenges.
Inspired at an early age to write and express themselves through verse, Al and Nnamdi have become two of the most recognizable and respected poets on the modern poetry scene. The Twin Poets have won many awards and grants for not only their written and spoken word, but also for their involvement in their community. Governor Jack Markell appointed the Twin Poets, Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills, as 17 th Poets Laureate of the State of Delaware on December 13, 2015. As the Poets Laureate for Delaware, the Twin Poets are strong advocates for poetry throughout the state by:
- Incorporating poetry/spoken word and creative writing programming into schools, libraries and community centers.
- Introducing poetry as a tool for transformation within youth detention centers and adult correctional facilities.
- Utilizing the poetic art form to strengthen the healing and support process for veterans, especially those suffering from PTSD.
- Taking poetry/spoken word and creative writing into communities of need to assist with addressing gun violence.
Our project is supported in part by the Delaware Division of the Arts, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, and individual