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Dasan Ahanu

Leaders of Color Fellowship

A man looking into the camera

Recipient Information


Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Leaders of Color Fellowship

Grant Amount


Co-Founder and Managing Director, Black Poetry Theatre

A self-described introvert with a very public profession, Ahanu is a North Carolina-based cultural organizer, artist, and scholar. As an accomplished cultural leader and poet, Ahanu has appeared on NPR, TV One’s Verses and Flow, and the documentary Poet Son, among other features. He is a resident artist with the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center, co-founder and managing director of Black Poetry Theatre, and a visiting professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, teaching Hip-Hop and Black culture courses. A respected recording artist, Ahanu has collaborated with many Jazz, Soul, and Hip-Hop artists in North Carolina. He is an alumnus of the Nasir Jones Fellowship with the Hip Hop Archive at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. In 2023, he was named the 15th Piedmont Laureate for poetry. He has published extensively and is the author of five poetry collections. Dasan also works with organizations as a strategist and builder who uses art & culture as a foundation and framework for creative solutions to internal and external needs. An imagination worker, he develops programs, collaborates on projects, helps map out initiatives, coordinates resources, and fosters ideation with groups looking to increase impact and embrace possibilities.