The Haraka Writers is a collective body of students and community writers across the globe that first formed in 1973. Together, they create bold and informed literary work that establishes a strong voice for the modern black experience. The term “haraka” is Swahili for “expression,” and the ensemble exemplifies just that.
The group gathers to hold collaborative workshops that foster creativity and bring diverse influences together. The ensemble is well respected in the literary world, and many of its members have been published in scholarly writings. Through essays, prose, poetry and short stories, the Haraka Writers strive to reinforce the essential bonds that give hope and strength to people.
Artist-in-residence, Kaharu Bowden
Khari B., also known as Discopoet Khari B. is a spoken word musician and educator working internationally in the literary arts. With a solid reputation for delivering intense performances with live instrumental accompaniment, Khari B.’s energetic nature is inextricably tied to growing up in Chicago’s House music scene and being the son of two educators, one who is also the renown woodwindist, Mwata Bowden.
In 2015, Khari B. led an eight city tour of France with percussionist Tyshawn Sorey of New York and vocalist/flutist Magic Malik of France, among others, as part of an improvisational music exchange initiative known as the "the Bridge." A recent Chair of the Association for the Advancement of the Creative Musicians (AACM), Khari led the organization into their 50th anniversary, being instrumental in producing some of their most exciting, celebratory programming in years. He's one of only a handful of teaching artists chosen to establish programs in Chicago's "Parent University," an inaugural integrated learning venture on the westside of Chicago. Presently he is the Artist-In-Residence at the prestigious Purdue University, author of a book of poetry "Haiku 4 Justice: A 365+ Day Commentary of (In)Justice In America & Abroad," has produced two studio and one live album to date while continuing to teach, create, produce and perform wherever he is called through his philosophy “Make it happen.”