LeJuane Bowens is an award-winning spoken word poet, host, speaker, workshop facilitator, author and military veteran based in Fayetteville. He recently performed his original compositions for the GPAC virtual season.
Bowens, known in poetry circles as El’Ja, began his poetry journey while enlisted in the U.S. Army. Born in Detroit and raised in Lima, Ohio, he now calls Fayetteville home, but his work has taken him all over the country to perform in ComicCon events and poetry slams. He has performed in the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival, Big Ears Festival, he headlined the Book'em NC in Lumberton two years ago. He is a founder and director for the annual Southeastern Regional N.C. Poetry Festival in Fayetteville, and he is featured on Poetry Slam Inc. and All Def Poetry on YouTube.
His awards include the 2009 McDonald's Food For Thought Poetry Slam Championship, ECU’s 2010 Survival of the Illest Poetry Slam, and he is the first poet to have his work in the Obama Art Museum in Raleigh. In 2014, he was recognized as the first N.C. poet to compete and win in three different grand slam finals in three different N.C. cities. In 2015, he was nominated for Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the 5th Annual National Poetry Awards. His books include "So Many Things to Say: A Collection of Poems,” "Anywhere...But Here,” and "Blerd Lines.”