Akua Lezli Hope is an African-American woman artist, poet and writer. Akua is a third-generation New Yorker. She was born in Manhattan and grew up in the South Bronx and Queens. Akua has degrees from Williams College and Columbia University in psychology, journalism and business. Akua is a talented woman with diverse interests including music. She also sings and plays the saxophone.She has twice won an Artists Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts(1987,2003). Her speciality is hand paper-making. Akua Lezli Hope also creates sculpture, objects and jewelry in glass and paper. In glass she fuses, casts and flameworks.
Hope has won a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a Ragdale U. S. – Africa Fellowship. She has given over 100 readings to audiences in colleges, prisons, parks, museums, restaurants and bars. She is a founding member of the Black Writers Union and the New Renaissance Writers Guild whose alumni include Baron James Ashanti, Doris Jean Austin, Arthur Flowers and Terry McMillan (Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back). Akua was the Area Coordinator for Amnesty International, U.S.A., in the Southern Tier of New York and also served on Amnesty’s Cultural Diversity Resource Group. She served as a staff member of the African American Resource Forum and was Section Leader of the Books and Writers section in the African American Culture Forum and of the African American Verse section in the Poetry Forum on Compuserve Information Service.