Cynthia Amoah is a Columbus, Ohio based poet, performer, and teaching artist. She received her MFA from The New School (Poetry) in 2019 where she was awarded the prestigious Paul Violi Poetry Prize (2018), as well as Excellence In Poetry (2019). Amoah began competing nationally in recitation and motivational speaking engagements in 2006. Since then, Amoah’s dynamic voice and strong stage presence has captured and inspired diverse audiences, both locally and globally. Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Amoah’s voice reflects the strong and colorful oral traditions of her homeland, which undoubtedly cultivates and shapes her work. Although influenced by diasporic motifs, Amoah transcends limitations and labels, instead embracing a holistic, multifaceted identity.
An activist and humanist, Amoah’s work often highlights lost stories of her immediate worlds, while also transcending the marginalized groups she delineates. This balance is delicate, but she walks it with effectual grace. This grace, and strength as a performer, has secured Amoah performances at prestigious venues, including The Lincoln Theatre, The Columbus Museum of Art, The United Nations Information Center (Accra), TEDxDrewUniversity, and TEDxOhioStateUniversity (where she performed Honam, her most notable poem), among others.
A member of the Black Women Rise Poetry Collective, Amoah remains dedicated, and actively involved in, her immediate community. In 2016, Amoah served as an apprentice writer for the Columbus-based arts collective, Maroon Arts Group where she joined seven other writers-in-residence in the creation of Write The Power; a social-justice oriented choreopoem. Shortly thereafter, in December of 2018, Amoah founded and directed the all women poetry showcase, Women & Words, which featured Ghanaian writers, poets, and artists living and working in Accra, Ghana. Her work can be found published in OURS Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Ohio Humanities: Pathways, and The African Poetry Book Fund’s New-Generation African Poets Chapbooks by Akashic Books. Amoah’s chapbook ‘Handrails’ was published by Akashic in Fall 2021.
As a teaching artist, Amoah is also a member of the Ohio Arts Council’s Teaching Artists Roster and has facilitated a variety of creative writing workshops through notable organizations such as Aspen Words, Girls Write Now, We Amplify Voices, Outschool, WriteOn, and Teachers Pay Teachers, among others. Amoah currently resides with her family in Columbus, OH where she leads workshops in creative writing and poetry, the power of positive-thinking, confidence-building, and using our voice as an instrument for strength and social change. She continues to write, organize, and perform locally and across the country, focusing on recurrent themes such as race, gender, social justice and their intersections, which encourages her to examine identity, form community, and better understand the value of the many identities she calls home.