Kailande Cassamajor is a poet from Silver Spring, Maryland. Her works draw from her experiences as an African American, with close familial ties to Haiti, as well as from her knowledge of the African Diaspora at large.
Cassamajor began writing when she was only seven years old. At this age, she was very soft-spoken and searching for an outlet for her thoughts and emotions. Her mother, whom Cassamajor praises as a large inspiration for her works, taught Cassamajor the art of release through the written (and later spoken) word.
When we asked the essential question “Why do you write?” Cassamajor responded “I believe spoken word is a divine practice. I write because I feel like it is a way that my soul can notably disseminate information, but also engage in discourse concerning the world around me, concerning the relationships around me, and concerning my thoughts in a very tangible way.”
Nevertheless, writing has not always proven easy for Cassamajor. She faced numerous obstacles in the forms of rejection from those she shared her works with, and from self-doubt within herself.
“You look at what is considered popular writing—what makes the big bucks—but my approach to writing is a little bit different, so I wonder sometimes if I am going about it incorrectly,” explained Cassamajor.
However, she continues to push past these insecurities about her work because she truly believes that her voice can have a positive impact on the world around her.
She said “I want to publish my works. I want to go around the country, and I want to speak to young Black women and young Black men about the power of writing. I want to show them that when you can communicate yourself in the written and spoken word, you gain the ability to solidify yourself in this world.”
In all of her works, Cassamajor strives to share her truth. As she grows more comfortable with herslef, she finds her work improving as well. To other young writers she says that “the most important thing is to establish your authenticity, and I feel like that comes from spending a lot of time with yourself and your thoughts.”
Ultimately, Cassamajor writes to help others. With a passion for neuropsychology, Cassamajor wants to provide support for those she works with, both through her writing, and in the medical field.
She proclaims, "In any aspect, I want my writing to be healing.”
Read an original poem by Kailande Cassamajor below:
"Reimagining Untitled Eternity"
Patterns and loose straw
dance about the edges.
Fancy church ties
Of every color
Festive when the holidays hit.
A grip on your shoulder
As strong as the I love you’s
The be safe’s
Flooding as the tears that
Showered the sanctuary
When I last saw you.
Brown skin got a way of weeping
When the ancestors voices
And present day pain
Tremors of the island
Trigger the memory
Upon solemn mother
Kept in the dry wells that hold
Caribbean boat splinters
And sharpened machetes.
These days summon
A different light while
The blackened void in isolated
Spots that polkadot the sky.
I will never forget the way your eyes
Glossed and tossed an incendiary joy
Whenever I toddled around, or made any
You were not fast on foot, but you were quick
I pray that your aged and calloused hands
Are resting well.
That your heart is no longer cracking,
Breaking, or waiting to be hurt again.
I pray a field of lush sunflowers on judgement day
A yellow chorus
Replanting the black seeds.
A grand display of the nation God brought forth out of you.
Tell the soil to get ready.
You won’t have to work it no more.
Tell the waters to get ready.
We will no longer drown in them no more.
Tell the clouds to get ready.
We will no longer pray the lightning upon our heads no more.
Tell the fire to get ready.
We will be apart of a new creation time, we will no longer bear the burn scars no more.
Tell the ancestors to get ready.
Their blood will sing a better song within the Earth.
Tell the people to get ready.
We will be traveling a better journey,
For an eternity