Camonghne Felix, also known as Ka’Mone, is a freshman majoring in Liberal Arts at Hostos Community College. She is mentored by Prof. Weldon C. Williams III, Coordinator of the Black Studies Unit of the Department of Humanities, and she serves as an officer in the Black Student Union. Ka’Mone came to Hostos in August 2010 from Bronx Community High School where she served as Student Body President and received her High School Diploma in June 2010.
At the tender age of 18, Ka’Mone has undertaken mastery of the Word; she writes and performs poetry with a sentience that moves mountains and commands the attention of all who hear. Ka’Mone began writing poetry in February 2009. Her skills grew so quickly that she took the genre of slam poetry by storm. This art form is not your traditional poetry reading. The poetry slam adds competitive, choreographic elements to the art of creating and performing poetry. At a slam, five judges each assign a score to each original poem performed without the aid of props, costumes, or musical accompaniment.
A year after she began writing poetry, in March 2010, Ka’Mone was chosen for the Urban Word NYC National Slam Team out of a field of 15,000 teens. In the summer of 2010, she led this team of six poets in the national poetry competition, Brave New Voices. They competed against 56 teams from across the country in Los Angeles—and won. Thus the Urban Word NYC National Slam Team is number one in the nation. Their road to victory is currently featured and televised in the HBO documentary: Brave New Voices.
Ka’Mone is a team player, but she also commands respect as an individual champion. She currently reigns as New York City Youth Poet of the Year. She was crowned with this title in September 2010 when she won the Nuyorican Neophyte Youth Poet of the Year Slam. The host of this slam, Nuyorican Café, is one of America's most highly respected arts organizations and an acclaimed forum for innovative poetry, music, hip hop, video, visual arts, comedy and theatre.
Recently, Ka’Mone says she was inspired to write a poem by Prof. Williams’ “ridiculously dope” African Civilization class. In November 2010, she performed it at The Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York State’s Youth Poet Laureate Competition. Her performance won the slam and she came in first runner-up in the overall competition. Subsequently, Prof. Williams introduced Wallace Edgecombe, Director of the Hostos Center for Arts and Culture, to Ka’Mone. Mr. Edgecombe was so impressed that the Hostos Center for Arts and Culture has chosen to showcase her in the Hostos New Young Roots Series, a program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation for young masters of Afro-Caribbean music, dance, and poetry who combine elements of Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rock and Reggaeton with the folkloric elements that are part of their cultural background.
While Ka’Mone continues to reach new heights, her poetry already has a presence in commercial media, documentary film, and academic publications. She starred, for example, in a Black History Month commercial on the Nickelodeon Network in which she recited one of her original works. The commercial aired from January 2010 through April 2010. In addition to performing in HBO’s documentary Brave New Voices, she is featured in the 2010 and 2011 Knicks Poetry Slam Documentaries as a top ten youth poet. Her poetry was also published in March 2010 in the Canadian anthology, Five, edited by Michael Ernest Sweet. Five is the fifth anniversary edition anthology from the award-winning Learning for a Cause Student Press in Montreal, Quebec.
Ka’Mone is currently a Finalist in the Knicks Poetry Slam. The Knicks Poetry Slam was created in 2003 to reach youth by using the popularity of Hip-Hop and poetry as a vehicle to motivate and inspire expression through written and spoken word competitions. The Finale will take place on February 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden. The very next day, Ka’Mone will be featured, with five other eminent poets she has selected, in Slam: The Art of Moving Mountains, a Black History Month event in the Hostos Repertory Theater sponsored by the Black Studies Unit of the Department of Humanities, The Hostos Center for Arts and Culture, The Black Student Union and the Student Government Association.
When not performing or studying, Ka’Mone has worked hard in the music business. She has, for example, worked as an Assistant A & R Representative for Island Def Jam Musical Group reviewing new artist submissions, organizing office interviews, and assisting with college tours. Island Def Jam is home to a diverse and unparalleled family of artists—from today's icons to tomorrow's rising stars—and is recognized as one of the most successful record labels in the industry. The roster boasts an array of talented artists including Kanye West, NAS, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, The Killers, Bon Jovi, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy, Fabolous, Melissa Etheridge, Chrisette Michele, Ludacris, Rick Ross, Duffy, Justin Bieber, and more.
Ka’Mone’s hard work is certain to continue to gain her acclaim as she continues to grow. Expect the unexpected and prepare to believe the unbelievable as this gifted orator offers the beauty of poetry through the spoken word. She says of herself, “I am the kind of girl who swallows the moon to prove that there is something illuminated here.”Have a helping of stardust, come along and enjoy the ride.