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Hue Penny, Saleem

Saleem Hue Penny

Years: 2019


Saleem Hue Penny is a Black “rural hip-hop blues'' poet, arts educator, and mutual aid advocate with Lowcountry roots, single-sided deafness, and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. The 2021 Poetry Coalition Fellow at Zoeglossia, an Assistant Poetry Editor at Bellevue Literary Review, and a proud Cave Canem Fellow, Saleem’s writing explores how young people of color traverse wild spaces and define freedom on their own terms. He often punctuates his poetry with drum loops, gouache, and birch bark. Awards include winner of the Bellevue Literary Review 2021 Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry (selected by Jen Bervin), runner-up for the Breakwater Review 2021 Peseroff Poetry Prize (selected by Chen Chen), and recipient of a Family Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Saleem's chapbook The Attic, The Basement, The Barn (Tammy Journal, 2017) raised money for nonprofit organizations ConTextos Chicago Project and Chicago Books to Women in Prison. His 2020 album You Just (Try to) Keep On: Songs of Solidarity + Self-Care, raised funds for Market Box, a mutual aid food distribution collaborative. Bundled with crayons and snacks, his children's zine 'The People’s Grab-n-Go Coloring Book' was distributed to children at emergency meal sites in multiple Chicago food desserts. Saleem regularly collaborates on community engagement activities, particularly for teen parent-headed families, long-term pediatric patients, and families affected by incarceration. He is eternally grateful for his mother, Rosetta Olethea Harmon Penny (1957-2020), who taught him the power and potential of writing.