A little about me...
“Photo by August Jennewein/courtesy UMSL”.
One of my favorite professors would always say "we are what we do" and so it is that among other things, I am a writer that before earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, I studied cultural anthropology. Soon after, I published my debut collection of poetry Shrimp (2Leaf Press), in April of 2018, and it's now being distributed by the University of Chicago Press.
Among other publications, I have a peer-reviewed essay “Treading the Atlantic” in the special edition of the Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies – Netherlandic Migrations: Narratives from North America, and my most recent poetry appears in The St. Louis Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2019), the latest in their City Anthology Series. Over the years I have served in various capacities with different community organizations,
as C0-Director for the Wellston Book Project (Studio STL), a teaching artist with the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), as coordinator for the Writers in the Schools program (WITS), and others.
In September of 2016, after tracing my ancestry to the Bamileke, I was given the name "Elong" in a formal ceremony by the Cameroon Royal Council, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Elong are affectionate and have a positive, radiant image. They are innocent and remain happy even through difficult times. They help others. I have since legally added Elong to reflect pride in my Cameroonian ancestry.