Marlanda Dekine is Sapient Soul, a poet and social worker residing in South Carolina. She is the author and recording artist of i am from a punch & a kiss, a multimedia project exploring black queer identity, the legacy of white supremacy, and spirituality in the South. Her poetry and thoughts have been shared with USA Today, Sojourners, SC Public Radio Walter Edgar’s Journal, Spartanburg Magazine, TEDxGreenville, Flycatcher Journal, Spark & Echo Arts, Minerva Rising’s Sparrow Trill, the Brighter Futures’ Conference for Child Abuse Prevention, the Children’s Trust Prevention Conference, the TogetherSC Summit, The New Social Worker Magazine Online as well as open mics, poetry slams, & podcasts across the Southeast.
Currently, Marlanda is the Founder and Executive Director of Speaking Down Barriers, a nonprofit providing encounters that transform our life together across our human differences, using honest dialogue & spoken word poetry as its primary tools for healing & justice. She teaches with Writers Well Youth Fellowship, a literary retreat for Black femme writers ages 14-19. She earned her BA in Psychology from Furman University and her MSW from the University of South Carolina. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry with NYU’s Low-Residency Writers’ Workshop in Paris.