Artist in Residence 2020, Sapient Soul (Marlanda Dekine)

Through spoken word, poetry, and music, Sapient Soul / Marlanda Dekine (she/her/they/them) engages the complexity and slippery nature of our human being-ness within the world. She values intellect and craft while enjoying the world of play and transmutation. The act of making has the power to enact transformation within the maker, those witnessing what has been made, and the larger community.

A friend of hers who often speaks publicly told them once: “If a child doesn’t get it, you should try again.”

Sapient Soul has lived in the depth of big questions since she was a child, and she did not always have someone around who knew how to guide through her darkness and unknown. She continues to hone her creative gift and learn how to listen to her inner guide.

Sapient Soul’s work seeks to illuminate our connectivity as human beings, sharing a planet, living through hard things, and remaining soft and intact with an ever-evolving emotional intelligence. Her hope is to awaken the living and curious child within us all. While doing so, Sapient Soul centers the Black, queer womxn experience, as it is her own. A descendant of Gullah-Geechee people, she is connected to a Black radical tradition of innovative creativity as well as international imaginings for healing and future.

Sapient Soul’s background in social work and psychology influence their creative process in myriad ways.

Evidenced by their most recent multi-media project, “i am from a punch & a kiss”, she designed and self-published a collection of poetry and an audio mixtape featuring sound healing frequencies, silence, and hip-hop. The work is a processing of questions regarding race, gender, sexuality, and spirituality with intentional empathy and directness for our humanity.

In 2015, Sapient Soul founded the non-profit organization, Speaking Down Barriers. This effort continues to bring people together across race, class, gender, sexual orientation, national identity, and religion through facilitated dialogue and communal interaction with spoken word poetry.

As an artist, Sapient Soul aims for healing and justice through facing the complex emotion of our being and working to alchemize fear and communal deprecation into joy and possibility. Currently, Sapient Soul is an MFA candidate with New York University’s Low-Residency program in Paris, France. She is excitedly working on two muso-poetic works for community exhibit during 2021-2022:

Ars Poetica with Douglas Boyce (Composer) & counter)induction (Chamber Ensemble);

Thresh & Hold with Anthony R. Green (Composer) and The Rice Museum (Georgetown, SC).

Explore Sapient Soul’s work created as an Artist in Residence:


Unfortunately, Sapient Soul was unable to complete their term as a Spark+Echo Arts Artist in Residence, but you can explore Sapient Soul’s work created as a 2020 Artist in Residence by clicking the title above.

All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.