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By Tasia Williams, (Student Affairs Marketing and Communications Intern)

UAB Collegiate Recovery Community hosts Guest Speaker Sharrif Simmons


Join the UAB Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) on Monday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. in Hill Student Center 316 for the next event in their Recovery Speaker Series: a discussion with Sharrif Simmons, who currently serves as the UAB Arts Poet in Residence. This series features guest speakers describing their recovery to help students gain a better understanding of different routes they can take to achieve their personal goals. Attendance is free, but attendees should RSVP on Engage.

Sharrif Simmons is a poet, musician writer, and arts educator. He got his start at U.C.L.A (University on the Corner of Lenox Avenue), a bookstore founded by his aunt Una Mulzac. This famed establishment served the Harlem, New York community for over 35 years. It was at this location that Simmons discovered his passion for spoken word poetry. His musical influence came from a great range of musicians, from Bob Marley and Bill Withers to Parliament Funkadelic and Biggie Smalls.

His first collection of poems, Fast Cities and Objects that Burn, was published in 1999 by Moore Black Press. Since then, he has toured the United States and Europe, captivating crowds with his compelling blend of poetry and acoustic guitar. He recently made history as the first poet to open for the World Games in 2022. In March of 2023, Sharif received the honor of being inducted into the seminal poetry group The Last Poets, the Godfathers of Hip Hop and Spoken Word.

In Birmingham, he founded the Birmingham Arts and Music Festival (BAAM!) in 2010. He was also instrumental in the creation of ArtPlay, a program whose goal is to make the arts accessible to all. The program hosts a wide array of artistic subjects- theater, drawing, and playwriting to name a few- for people of all ages.

For additional information or disability accommodations, contact Kit Emslie at gokpemslie@uab.edu.