bio & work(s)


Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul is a traveling, award-winning poet and social worker residing in South Carolina. Marlanda serves as the 2020 Artist in Residence with Spark & Echo Arts, the 2020 Healing Justice Fellow with Gender Benders, and as a Gallery Assistant. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry with NYU’s Low-Residency Writers’ Workshop in Paris.

Marlanda is the author and recording artist of i am from a punch & a kiss. Her poetry and music can be heard on all digital streaming platforms, including Soundcloud & Bandcamp. She is one of South Carolina’s 2019 Fresh Voice of the Year recipients, awarded by SC Humanities.

Marlanda’s poetry and thoughts have been shared with USA Today, Shuddhashar Magazine (Norway), Sojourners, SC Public Radio’s Walter Edgar’s Journal, the Voices In American Art Series with The Johnson Collection, TEDxGreenville, Flycatcher Journal, Spark & Echo Arts, Minerva Rising’s “Sparrow Trill”, Free Verse Poetry Festival, Philadelphia FIGHT’s HIV Prevention Conference, the Brighter Futures’ Conference for Child Abuse Prevention, the Children’s Trust Prevention Conference, the Together SC Summit, The New Social Worker Magazine Online as well as open mics, poetry slams, & podcasts across the nation.

Marlanda is also the Founder of Speaking Down Barriers & Co-Founder of Writers Well Youth Fellowship. She earned her BA in Psychology from Furman University and her MSW from the University of South Carolina. She served as a child therapist, crisis therapist, community trainer, and as a child abuse forensic evaluator while working full-time as a social worker.

List of Works


  • UMOJA, an album created by music producer, JAH FREEDOM, in response to artwork by Cedric Umoja, 2020
  • Ars Poetica, a collaboration with composer, Douglas Boyce, and ensemble, counter)induction, 2021
  • thresh & hold, Gullah Preservation Society & The Rice Museum, 2021


  • “black history is…”, a collaboration with Waccamaw High School Jazz Band, 2020 [Performance]
  •  “To listen”, chosen as finalist by Naomi Shihab Nye at Wick Poetry Center Call for Poems on Peace & Conflict Transformation, January 2020 [Publication]
  • “The Moon”, published by Shuddhashar Magazine in Norway with audio recording of poem streaming on digital streaming platforms, December 2019 [Publication]
  • “Getting Lighter”, published by Spark & Echo Arts in New York, November 2019 [Publication]
  • “what if?” from self-published book, i am from a punch & a kiss published in the anthology “Ecological Solidarities: Mobilizing Faith and Justice for an Entangled World”, Penn State University Press, November 2019 [Publication]
  • “i am from a punch & a kiss”, Religion Studies & English curricula at Wofford University, Spartanburg, SC; University of South Carolina College of Social Work curricula, Columbia, SC; Goose Creek High School English curricula, 2017-Present
  • Fresh Voice of the Year Governor’s Award, SC Humanities, Columbia, SC, October 2019
  • “Paris”, song and poem with audio recording streaming on digital streaming platforms, October 2019 [Publication]
  •  “Mami Wata: An Evening of Transformation featuring Natalie Daise’s, ‘Becoming Harriet Tubman’, DJ SCrib, Miya Fowler, & Sara Makeba Daise, Speaking Down Barriers, Spartanburg, SC, October 2019 [Organizer & Host]
  • “Healing through Writing”, Riverside Baptist Church, New York City, NY, August 2019 [Teaching Artist]
  • Completed second residency with New York University’s Low-Residency in Paris, July 2019
  • “Ubuntu”, HIV Prevention & Education Summit, Philadelphia FIGHT, Philadelphia, PA, July 2019 [Performance]
  • “Radical Leadership: Are You Letting Yourself Be Yourself?”, Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg, May 2019 [Teaching Artist]
  • Keller Cushing Freeman Scholarship, Emrys Foundation, Greenville, SC, April 2019
  • Oral Historian, USC Upstate’s LGBTQ Oral History Project, Spartanburg, SC, March 2019
  • “We Real Cool” on Gwendolyn Brooks & Mick Jenkin’s, “Gwendolyn’s Apprehension”, Tapp’s Center for the Arts, Columbia, SC, March 2019 [Teaching Artist]
  • “black history is…” from book, i am from a punch & a kiss with Dan Hazard playing upright bass, Voices in American Art with Dr. Tuliza Fleming of National Museum of African-American History sponsored by The Johnson Collection, The Chapman Cultural Center, February 2019 [Performance]
  • Writers Well Fellowship Retreat, 2016-2019 [Co-Founder & Teaching Artist]
  • Furman University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, “What Is Spoken Word?”, 2015 [Teaching Artist]
  • Hub City Writers Project Bookshop & Press, 2013-2018 [Board Member]
  • “i am from a punch & a kiss”, 2017, 2018, [Author & Recording Artist]
  • Hub City Writers Project Bookshop & Press, Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition: Region I, 2017 [Judge]
  • The Watering Hole, “The Art of Activism”, 2015 [Teaching Artist]
  • Spartanburg Soaring! Poetry Day, 2015, 2014 [Organizer & Host]
  • Slam Madness Poetry Slam Tournament, 2011-2014 [Co-Founder]
  •  Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition: Region I, 2014 [Judge]
  • Spoken Word Spartanburg, 2013-2016 [Founder & Event Organizer]
  • Hub-Bub, 2011 [Performer & Volunteer]
  • Wits End Poetry, 2006-2014 [Performer & Volunteer]
  • Triune Mercy Center for the Homeless, 2007 [Teaching Artist & Volunteer]