Chinaka Hodge is a poet, author and playwright working in Los Angeles, California. She began performing spoken word poetry when she was a teenager and performed on two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry, and was the San Francisco Bay Area Teen Poetry Slam Champion in 2001. She was also a member of the winning Berkeley/Oakland team for the National Teen Poetry Slam and Festival in 2000.
Chinaka’s first time reading a poem aloud came when the literary arts organization Youth Speaks came to her school and did a creative writing workshop. At the end of the workshop she read a poem aloud and ended up working for Youth Speaks for the next ten years, eventually moving up the ranks until she became Associate Artistic Director. She published her first book, For Girls with Hips in 2006, and it is currently in its third publication. Chinaka was also the recipient of the Dave Eggers 826Valencia inaugural young author scholarship and named the Best Poet by East Bay Express in 2008. Chinaka recently wrote her first play, Mirrors in Every Corner, which had an extremely successful run at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco and received rave reviews.
Chinaka is currently chasing her next big dream of being a screenwriter. Check out www.chinakahodge.com for more on Chinaka’s writing and work and make sure to check out our interview with her below: