FEBRUARY 9th READER: Benjamin Roman

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Benjamin Roman Jr. was born at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. At an early age, his Puerto Rican family moved from Spanish Harlem to the Bronx, where he lived with his sister, aunt and grandmother.

Benjamin lived on the 13th floor of a project housing building and from his bedroom window he could see the city lights for miles. He says, I would dream, imagine and draw a world that was beautiful. The catalyst to this world was his beloved grandmother who kept tight curfews for Ben and his sister. Shaped by her efforts, they spent countless hours indoors writing, coloring and drawing.

Today, Benjamins writings have evolved into spoken word poetry that resonates with audiences of all kinds. He uses his platform as an artist to deliver powerful stories about love, family and social issues. His favorite poets include Kahlil Gibran, Maya Angelou, Kate Tempest and Lamar Hill, who have inspired him to develop his craft and to be a voice of hope.

In 2012, Benjamin self-published his first poetry book, My Lotus Flower (Love Poems). He is currently working on his second poetry book, Red, White and Brown which centers around social issues in America. It should be noted that Benjamin is also an accomplished watercolorist and many of his original compositions will also be featured in this book.

He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and son.

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