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Harlequin Creature presents Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Sherese Francis, Zahura Akter & Damali Abrams

Damali Abrams the Glitter Priestess is a New York City based artist and educator whose magical work travels around the United States and around the world. Her collages, videos, performances, and writings create portals, cast spells, and work to manifest new forms of Black Utopia. Damali attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and her BA from New York University. Damali is the recipient of a 2019 QCA grant and is a current Culture Push Fellow for Utopian Practice. Damali has also been a fellow at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, A.I.R. Gallery, and apexart in Seoul, South Korea. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Fresh Milk in Barbados, Groundation Grenada, The Center for Book Arts, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, and LMCC on Governors Island.

Zahura Akter grew up in New York City, between Bengali and American cultures. She graduated from the City College of New York with a Master’s degree. Her first poetry book is Traditional Paradox out from Banglar Kobita Prokashon, and she has two publications with harlequin creature. She loves to write. Her writing is about ordinary people, who have extraordinary qualities within them. 

Sherese Francis is a southeast Queens-based poet, literary artist, workshop facilitator, and literary curator of the mobile library project, J. Expressions. She has published work in journals and anthologies including Cosmonauts Avenue, No Dear, Apex Magazine, La Pluma Y La Tinta's New Voices Anthology, The Pierian Literary Review, Bone Bouquet, African Voices, Newtown Literary, and Near Kin: A Collection of Words and Arts Inspired by Octavia Butler. Additionally, she has published two chapbooks, Lucy’s Bone Scrolls and Variations on Sett/ling Seed/ling. Currently, she is a co-editor and board member of the small press, Harlequin Creature, and a core member of the Southeast Queens Artist Alliance. To find out more about her work, visit

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Strut (Agape Editions), Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps(Flipped Eye Publishing). She served as Poetry Editor of African Voices from 2013 to 2017. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Tallie is the subject of a short film “I Leave My Colors Everywhere.” Her first children’s book Layla’s Book of Happiness will be published by Enchanted Lion Books in 2019. Tallie earned an MFA from Mills College. She’s currently a Ph.D. student at Brown University.