Born in New York City to parents of Cuban and Jamaican descent and raised in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, Aja Monet Bacquie began writing poems when she was eight or nine years old. At 19, Monet became the youngest winner of Nuyorican Poets Café’s Grand Slam. She later earned her Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Not long after graduation, she published two chapbooks: The Black Unicorn Sings (2010) and Inner-City Cyborgs and Ciphers(2014). Both were later released as e-books. Monet also co-edited and arranged the spoken-word collection Chorus: A Literary Mixtape (2012) with Saul Williams and writer and actress Dufflyn Lammers.