Cynthia Amoah, is a spoken word artist, performer, and writer originally from Ghana, West Africa. She is currently pursing an MFA in poetry at The New School and has been featured on the stages of TEDxDrewUniversity and TEDxOhioStateUniversity. Cynthia’s poignant poems often explore themes of community, the value of culture, and a dedication to self-identity. When not found writing or performing, Cynthia enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and wandering museums.
Here’s Quick Temper with Cynthia Amoah:
Why do you write?
As a Ghanaian-American, my reasoning often changes from season to season, from what needs salve to what needs settling, but mostly the reason that remains is: my mother sacrificed everything for me to have the freedom to write.
Who do you hope reads your work?
I was asked once by a writing professor, if I write for others or if I write for myself. To which I quickly replied, I (selfishly) write for myself and if my readers happen to be moved in the process, amen. So, to who I hope reads my work, anyone who is going through a crisis of identity, really. Those of us who are straddled between two worlds, who struggle with displacement and who hope to find peace in the searching.
And isn’t that beautiful? To think that I am writing for myself and yet to be in servitude always?
Where does the anger in your work come from? How does it manifest?
The anger in my work disguises itself as questions. All writing is interrogative and perhaps, my frustration comes from there being no resolve. I have been forced to settle with the idea that the questioning is the resolve or that I have to question at all but as long as it comes out, I am seen and less alone.
Angry book recommendations for angry readers?
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, TwERK by Latasha N. Diggs, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Tribe by Sebastian Junger, Olio by Tyehimba Jess.