Kai Davis (she/her) is a Black Queer writer, performer, and teaching artist from Philadelphia. Kai received her BA in both Africana Studies and English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Temple University. Her work explores Blackness, Queerness, womanhood, and the many ways these identities converge. Kai’s work examines how power operates globally, nationally, interpersonally, and internally. She speaks about structural racism, misogyny, Black womanhood, ancestral trauma, mental health, intersectionality, Queer love, Black love, and more.
Kai has performed for TEDX Philly, CNN, BET, PBS, and NPR, among others. She has given readings and speeches in many notable venues, including the San Francisco Opera House, Gramercy Theater, The Kimmel Center, and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, along with over 50 colleges across the country. Kai has delivered keynotes and facilitated workshops at several conferences, including IvyQ, The Diversity Inclusion & Fairness Conference at Georgia Southern University, and the Black Students Alliance Conference at Smith College. She is a two-time international grand slam champion, winning Brave New Voices in 2011 and The College Union Poetry Slam Invitational in 2016. In 2017 Kai received the Leeway Transformation Award for her years of art for social change work in Philadelphia and is the 2020 NextFab x Leeway Art and Technology Artist-in-Residence.
Right now she spends most of her time working as Poetry Editor for Apiary Magazine, as Co-Host and Artistic Director for The Philly Pigeon, and as a member of the Philadelphia Poet Laureate Committee. Kai also visits high schools and local non-profit organizations, teaching poetry to marginalized and under-served young folk.
Kai has self-published four chapbooks: Music & Marrow (2013), The Falling Action (2014), Black Chronicle (2016), and Ain’t I? (2019). Her work has been published in The Offing (2018) and The Shade Journal (2019) and is forthcoming in Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought (2021).