WELCOME TO ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

.jpg

about the columnist

Haikeem Stokes, (Pronounced HAKEEM)  a South Philly native, is the eldest of three brothers and three sisters. He first fell in love with writing in the third grade. In junior high school, Haikeem wrote several short stories, then later illustrated and penned a series of comic strips. In the eighth grade, he used those creative-writing skills to transform short stories into rhymes. By the twelfth grade, he won several first-place trophies for rapping in talent shows. It was during Haikeem’s high school years that his skills in rhyming had evolved into poetry. He has taken his passion for wordplay and literary arts and cultivated it into the dream of creating, “Works of Heart.” These “Works of Heart,” include 2 novels, I Need You Too, At 12, After, 4 books of spoken word, Reality Life Conscious Struggle, Earlixer, Concepts of Intimacy, and Melodies of Lullabies. His latest efforts are non-fiction and deal with the sometimes complicated relationships between sons/daughters and absentee fathers entitled, The Purple Orchard Syndrome and Littered Fields. Haikeem believes that the gift of writing allows one to blend imagination and reality to create their own universe. He writes from his heart in order to convey his message of life and love.

  • Instagram
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • TikTok

Asophila Books is not just books anymore. We transform novels, poetry, fashion, & original paintings into "Works of Heart".

Issue 18

Trying to find a location indicative of this world-renowned poet’s strength and serenity; today’s interview is conducted from the gazebo along Boathouse Row with the rushing waves of the Schuylkill River. Being a daughter of nature, Ms. Powerhouse displays a captivating smile, then takes a moment to face the water no doubt absorbing its positive kinetic energy. We begin our conversation after exchanging greetings.

 

Nikki really blossomed during her adolescence, while maneuvering the intricacies of North Philadelphia. She learned early on, to stand and be counted, otherwise, you’ll be looked over. Filled with the very outgoing, vibrant vitality of her father and the stoic, intelligence of her tenacious mother, Ms. Powerhouse developed into a force to be reckoned with. Nikki says, “Growing up with parents whose attitudes were from different ends of the spectrum afforded me the best of both worlds. I was able to benefit greatly from both individuals and shape into the best version of me.”

.jpg

Issue 19

This seasonably comfortable morning in early July finds me traveling to Charm City. Upon arrival, I have breakfast at Saturday Morning Café located at 236 High Street. This place is so deep in the cut, that if you weren’t looking for it, you’d completely miss it, but you most certainly shouldn’t. As soon as I begin to miss it, I’ll be sure to make a return.

 

After devouring a seafood omelet with potatoes, I travel a short distance to, The Walters Art Museum, located at 600 N. Charles Street, near the George Washington statue. It’s in a quaint pocket area that is a scenic walk from the beloved Baltimore Harbor. Once you step inside the vestibule, you feel as if you’re already inside the main hall of the museum due to its floor-to-ceiling glass doors and equally large marble columns...

.jpg

May 2022

The awesome artist Nigel Carrington was born and raised in magnificent Trinidad and Tobago which is a dual island in the Caribbean, located between Grenada and Venezuela. Although Nigel presently lives in Rochester, New York, Trinidad, and Tobago forever reside in his heart.

As an adolescent, Nigel was naturally drawn to drawing. He loved the authenticity of utilizing a pencil, the feel of sketch paper, the smell of graphite, and the sound of a traveling pencil were very blissful. Once it became second nature he began to draw extensively. He and his friends would enhance each other’s skills by challenging one another to be extremely detailed in their depictions.

April 2022

The awesome artist Nigel Carrington was born and raised in magnificent Trinidad and Tobago which is a dual island in the Caribbean, located between Grenada and Venezuela. Although Nigel presently lives in Rochester, New York, Trinidad, and Tobago forever reside in his heart.

As an adolescent, Nigel was naturally drawn to drawing. He loved the authenticity of utilizing a pencil, the feel of sketch paper, the smell of graphite, and the sound of a traveling pencil were very blissful. Once it became second nature he began to draw extensively. He and his friends would enhance each other’s skills by challenging one another to be extremely detailed in their depictions.

.jpg
.jpg

March 2022

We are experiencing inclement weather in the city, but I am obligated to fulfill my journalistic responsibilities, so I happily pressed toward my Southwest Philadelphia destination. In this section of “The Workshop of the World” stands a warehouse of wonder where the incredibly talented Buck Bandit duo perform their magic. Foregoing my usual routine, we opt to order take-out from, Little Delicious Caribbean & American Restaurant located at 4821 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. Instead, these industrious young men offer me the opportunity to tour their massive creative space, while conducting this interview. After retrieving our island-inspired entrees, we begin our interview with a very pressing question.

February 2022

From book worm to a brilliant butterfly the interview with entrepreneur extraordinaire, Kareemah Mathis-Gee of Kareemah’s Urban Books

.jpg

A still chill is upon us in the City of Brotherly Love, but we are yet in motion. The rapture of winter makes a triumphant return after being absent for many seasons. We’ve been spoiled by warm winter temperatures for the longest while, but now, the “Old Man” is back with a vengeance. Just as well, because the beginning of every year should bring about positive change and an abundance of prosperity. Maybe with this season back to pseudo normal, so shall everything else. With a slight bite in the air, I head over to one of Philadelphia’s most beloved treasures, Kareemah’s Urban Books located at 2200 South 22nd Street, nestled in South Philadelphia. This area is quaint, very transient, and thankfully has adequate parking. Entering the establishment your eyes are dazzled by her wide array of books, varying in titles, situated wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling inside of creatively structured bookcases. This bookstore is very well lit, extremely clean, and has a comfortable homely feel to it just right for reviewing literature.

.jpg

January 2022

This afternoon finds me cruising along the New Jersey Turnpike en route to “Brick City”. Once entering the cultural nucleus that is Newark, I pull up to my destination, Urban Taste, located at 495 Central Ave, East Orange, New Jersey. Upon arrival, I’m warmly greeted by Mrs. Gabrielle, who is entering the establishment at the same time. Trying to get this busy individual to sit down for a chat was quite a challenge, but we’re finally about to accomplish this feat. After greeting one another, being seated, and ordering vegetable platters, we begin our interview. 

How long have you been considered a professional writer?

 

My first published work was a book of poetry entitled, “Stand and Be Counted,” which debuted in 1998. Immediately after that, I tackled the task of writing a screenplay entitled, Divided Souls, which took me through the apex of my soul. Once that was completed, I penned another book of poetry, then went on to complete my first novel entitled, “Good to The Last Drop.” That project was my introduction to the wonderful world of Urban Fiction, which I welcomed with open arms.

December 2021

An Interview With Earnestly Creative, Wanetta “Queen Lexii” Rodney

.jpg

Any excuse to visit planet Brooklyn is as good as any, as today is motivated by business. I’m allotted a fair amount of time to tool about before meeting up with today’s Brooklynite. After seeing some new sites, the time comes for me to meet with local royalty, Queen Lexii. This Guyanese-born artist is slated to take 2022 by storm with her uniquely clever interpretations. Arriving at Negril BK Restaurant 

located at 256 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, I’m shown to the table where Queen Lexii is seated. After exchanging pleasantries, we sit then she orders the Jerk Salmon with rice and peas, and I get the Negril BK Jerk Rotisserie Chicken with rice, peas, and collard greens. After a bit of small talk, we began our interview.