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In the year of 1997, at the age of 16, Halim Flowers was charged in the District of Columbia as an adult for being an accomplice to a felony murder. His experiences as a child inside of the DC Department of Corrections was filmed in the Emmy Award winning documentary Thug Life In DC. Flowers was taken to trial and convicted under the accomplice liability doctrine of felony murder and sentenced to a term of 40 years to life imprisonment.
During his incarceration, Flowers discovered a love for literature & the arts. He began writing rap which evolved into poetry and began his connection with spoken word. In 2005, he started his own publishing company SATO Communications (Struggle Against The Odds). SATO Communications has published eleven books covering the genres of poetry, self help, financial literacy, and Flowers’ own memoir Makings of a Menace, Contrition of a Man.
On March 21, 2019, after serving 22 years and 2 months behind bars, Flowers was released back into society. Since then, he has worked with Kim Kardashian for her documentary The Justice Project, done a spoken word performance with Kanye West at his famous Sunday Service, received the Halcyon Arts Lab and Echoing Green fellowships, and spoken on panels at universities and conferences around the country about the impact of the arts and entrepreneurship to correct our criminal injustice system. He is currently launching his fashion line Ideallionaires, which will be created in collaboration with a digital graphic novel and animated series he is also currently working on.
Lucha Rodriguez received her MFA in Printmaking from Savannah College of Art and Design, and her BFA in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Atlanta. Her work ranges from etchings, monoprints and colorful silkscreens, to immersive multi- layered installations of cut paper, each created with pink – the artist’s signature color. Born in Venezuela, Rodriguez has exhibited globally with solo and group shows throughout the U.S., India, Mexico, China and France. Her work is included in The Bascom Center for Visual Arts, World of Coca-Cola Museum, The High Museum of Art, Modern and Contemporary Art Collection in addition to various private institutional and individual collections.
A MacDowell and Hawthornden Castle Fellow, Leland Cheuk is an award-winning author of three books of fiction, most recently NO GOOD VERY BAD ASIAN (2019). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as NPR, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, among other outlets. He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute. You can follow him on Twitter @lcheuk and at lelandcheuk.com.