Singer, Songwriter and Poet
Poet and singer Jamila Woods was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side. Woods graduated from Brown University with a BA in Africana Studies and Theatre and Performance Studies. Her poetic influences include Gwendolyn Brooks and Lucille Clifton. Her poetry has been featured in the anthologies The Uncommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning & Living (2013), Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014), and The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015).
As a singer and songwriter, Woods has performed internationally, touring in support of artists like Raphel Saadiq, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Common. In 2016, Woods released her debut album, HEAVN. Her second studio album, LEGACY! LEGACY! (2019) pays homage to a collection of artists of color who have influenced her life and work. Inspiration for the album’s title came from a poem by Margaret Taylor Burroughs—co-founder of the DuSable Museum of African American of History and friend of Gwendolyn Brooks. Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez are among those to whom Woods pays tribute.
Woods is the former Associate Artistic Director of the non-profit youth organization Young Chicago Authors, where she assisted in organizing the world’s largest poetry festival and designed curricula for Chicago Public Schools.
She is currently working on her third solo album, to be released in 2023 via JagJaguwar Records.