Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi

  • Poet, Writer, Consultant
  • Language Arts
  • 2002

Bio

Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi (B.A.English/Spanish Language and Literature, M.A. Spanish Literature and Arts, Saint Louis University Madrid/St. Louis) lives in St. Louis, Missouri, writes literary articles, critiques, poetry and prose. She is a professional consultant for not-for-profit, business, community development, education, leadership development, disability, and elderly advocacy, and she also teaches creative writing to men in a maximum security jail every week, and to special needs students. She has a novel in verse, Poem to Follow, a book of poetry, Fall Tenderly, and many of her celebrated poems have appeared worldwide in multiple poetry anthologies, literary magazines, and in spoken word with LOOPRAT on the award-winning CD, How Live? Shari considers herself a modern formalist, addressing contemporary issues in poetic verse with a stylized language. Shari graduated from CAT in 2002 and served as Faculty from 2004-2007 as Lab Liaison. She currently works with the West End community development team. She has a background in immigration law and not-for-profit formation and management. Shari is the former Director and a founding member of University City East, Inc. ("UCE"), a community organization dedicated to creating a healthy community in the eastern section of University City (1999-2006). The UCE mission was to implement innovative strategies that promoted systematic and long-term social change through community health initiatives and other programs in underserved areas. The Health Protection and Education Services ("HPES"), a project of UCE, continues to provide free health screenings at the University City Public Library on the third Saturday of each month since 1999 and is still going strong to this day. Through her work with the St. Louis Children's Hospital Healthy Kids at Play Initiative, and with fellow CAT alum Solomon Thurman, they built two playgrounds with community art installations at Pershing Elementary School in University City. They also enhanced the UCE Summer Youth Leadership Training Program through the arts consisting of African drumming, multi-media workshops, creative writing, mediation training, collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum CAT Faculty Renee Franklin, and instruction by other CAT alum such as Solomon Thurman, Heidi Lung, CAT Faculty Jane Ellen Ibur, and Gay Lorberbaum.