Cultural Almanac: The Poetry Salon in Charleston

Poetry Night in Charleston, SC

Between The Lines with A$iahMae

AsiahMae has been Charleston’s Poet Laureate for less than two years, but their calling to the craft began over two decades earlier. 

“I watched Jill Scott perform her first album when I was 10,” Mae said in our interview. “I think that’s when I realized not only that I wanted to be a poet but also what kind of poet I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be able to do with poetry.” 

Queerness, blackness, radical healing, and self-love are all themes present in AsiahMae’s work. 

As someone who identifies both with black womanhood and being non-binary, writing and performing deeply personal poems is a place of comfort—something she wants to create more of in the Charleston community. 

In 2016, the same year Marcus Amaker became Charleston’s first Poet Laureate, AsiahMae co-founded IllVibetheTribe, a group of black curators who hosted events to increase visibility for local and underground artists. 

That sense of community is what made AsiahMae’s application shine when the role of Poet Laureate opened in 2021. After an interview with a committee of educators, poets, and community leaders, it was clear that AsiahMae was the people’s poet. 

“I’m honored, for sure,” said Mae, “and I think I know what it means to other people, but I’m still figuring out what it means for me.” 

Today, after a year of fully settling into their role, AsiahMae’s tenure as Poet Laureate is a natural extension of their identity as a community organizer as they continue to create more writing workshops and facilitate the growth of local talent. 

We have the honor of hosting one such opportunity, right here at The Restoration Charleston; a Poetry Salon where writers of all genres can come and share their work in a safe and supportive environment. 

“We’ll discuss different topics surrounding writing and maybe even generate a piece or two,” said Mae, “but the goal is to give people a chance to get to know the writers behind the words.” 

And for those still trying to find their voice, AsiahMae urges not to be so serious. 

“Experiment, explore, let yourself be inspired by any and everything, and READ POETRY!” 

The Poetry Salon with AsiahMae will take place on Thursday, March 21st at 7pm in The Library. The event is free and open to all adult writers of any genre. For more information on the event, please visit our Happenings page.

To learn more about AsiahMae and read their work, visit