As the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion, and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico. His poetry has been published in on the Albuquerque Convention Center, on the outside of a library, in inner-city buses and in numerous anthologies across the globe. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist in 2007, and was awarded the Emerging Creative Bravos Award by Creative Albuquerque in 2013. In 2014, Bellamy was named a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow and was awarded the Food Justice Residency at Santa Fe Art Institute. Bellamy has been named “Best Poet” in the Weekly Alibi’s annual Best of Burque poll every year since 2010.
His first book, SWEAR (West End Press/UNM Press) won the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association. He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools, jails, churches, prisons and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond.
His chapbook Prayer Flag Poems, a short collection inspired by his travels to Nepal, was published by Swimming with Elephants Publications in 2015. The book is used to raise awareness for those affected by they earthquake in April of 2015. All proceeds going directly to the organizations, schools and families that Bellamy and Lefrak befriended on their 2014 trip to Nepal.
Recently Tim Keller, Mayor of Albuquerque, appointed Hakim Bellamy deputy director of cultural services. Bellamy is a former journalist whose government experience includes four years at the New Mexico State Office of African American Affairs and two years in former Mayor Richard J. Berry’s administration, according to a release. Bellamy was also the winner of a Business First contest in 2016 to create the best “elevator pitch” for the city to potential residents, business leaders and more.