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New Dimensions Learning Academy hosts “Queen of New York” poet Tantra

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It’s always amazing to see the real power of words.

The words — the way they can fill a room with sound and fury and electricity, all from someone speaking a certain way. All from poetry.

The New Dimensions Learning Academy on 35th and Broadway hosts such talents and was graced by the presence of the award-winning “Queen of New York,” Tantra Zawadi, who performed some of her spoken word Saturday.

The academy holds an open mic night every last Saturday of the month, and this particular night multiple artists hit the stage with rhythmic energy, syllabic
enigmas and profound social commentary.

“I feel like this is a place that I can come to live, you know?” attendee Maurice Sanders, 21, said.

The host and founder of the academy, Terry Moore, opened the events by introducing the night’s band, Ear Candy. They played in between sets and also performed with house singer Chris J, who sang soulful ballads of his own pen.

“We’ve never missed a night!” Moore said.

Local poet and performer NSAA (pronounced en-sah-ah) spoke in quick rhythmic spurts as he talked about skin color, neighborly love and music.

The academy also hosts multiple youth groups, many of which perform on the stage. The poetry night is one of the only in Sacramento to be open to all ages.

“People bring their kids,” Moore said. “The kids get a good education. It’s intellectual. They can develop their skills by hearing and performing.”

Zawadi sat in the audience throughout the show, watching and applauding the other acts. She wore her hair in tight braids, colored alternately gold and red. She wore a ring in her nose. She had an elegance around her. In short, Zawadi was cool.

Most of the poems she performed were all from her new book, “Gathered at My Sky: Life Poems,” and a part of the proceeds go toward the Zimbabwe-based Girl Child Network Worldwide.

“It’s such a blessing to share this work with you, knowing that these words are traveling to the motherland and creating change in the lives of others,” Zawadi said during her performance.


All pictures by Maxwell McKee:

1 & 2. Tantra

3. Chris J & Ear Candy


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