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Poet| Author| Teaching Artist

"Chantel’s own work abandons metaphorical language. She uses newscasts, prayers, and gossip to compose stanzas that document generational angst. She absorbs her inherited trauma and brings it into a raw beautiful focus."
-Book Riot



Chantel Massey

Chantel Massey is a storyteller, poet, author, teaching artist, editor, organizer, educator, practicing Afrofuturist, and avid anime lover from Indiana. Massey is a fellow of The Watering Hole, VONA poetry  resident, and has received support from Brooklyn Poets, Hurston/Wright Foundation, and Tin House. She is a 2023 Best of Net Award winner and 2020 Indiana Eugene and Marilyn Glick Author Awards Emerging Author finalist for her first collection of poetry, Bursting At The Seams  (VK Press, 2018), a Midwest Black girl coming of age story.  Massey founded the literary arts organization, UnLearn Arts, radically dedicated to amplifying and cultivating the craft and wellness of BIPOC writers in the Midwest and elsewhere. 

Massey's work advocates for wellness, human rights, and social justice.  She explores their depth with confessional poetry through themes of Blackness, identity, Afrofuturism, memory/archive, familial relationships, the process and act of giving up self- betrayal, and the riot of Black joy. Massey is on a life-long mission, through poetry and the transformative power of storytelling, to make the pursuit and vision of what has not yet been, irresistible, to inspire curiosity, and challenge how we engage with the world. Her work can be found featured in IndianapolisReviewTurnpike Magazine, and other online and print publications coming elsewhere. Massey is a 2023 Creative Renewal Fellow. She is a 2022 Art & Soul, an annual celebration of Black artist and creativity, Featured Artist, focusing on the theme of Black health & wellness, and a recipient of the Arts Council of Indianapolis' 2022 Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellowship Award, 2021 Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Poetry & Author Fellowship Award, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) 2021 Artist Ambassador grant recipient, and the 2020 Indiana Writers Center Mari Evans grant award recipient.

Alongside performing poetry, Massey serves as board member and Community Outreach Committee member for youth poetry organization, Word As Bond , editor at Voicemail Poems and reader at Revolute Magazine. Massey is also a teaching artist for the Asante Art Institute Zora's Daughters writing program, and a  Caliban Art Board Member.

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"In times of dread, artist must never choose to remain silent. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal."

-Toni Morrison


Chantel is available for featured performances, facilitating workshops, to host, speak, consultations and for all other inquiries

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