Born in Atlanta, Kupenda Auset (Joette Harland Crosby) is a writer, producer, and scholar concerned with the nexus between art and social consciousness. This fascination has fueled her exploration, passion, and engagement in creative forms such as poetry, essays, journalism, events, and promotion of the arts.
Starting next week, Auset will begin blogging for Cascade Patch.
Her affinity with arts, academia, and community has landed her on radio, television, and in print with appearances on WAGA Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta and 91.9FM WCLK, and with recognition from the Atlanta Journal & Constitution in “Faces to Watch.”
Kupenda’s writing has been published in numerous books and magazines including In the Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers (ed. By Kevin Powell and Ras Baraka), Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology on Contemporary African-American Poetry (ed. By Derrick “D Knowledge” Gilbert), African American Children’s Stories: A Treasury of Tradition and Pride; Life Poems: For Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Self-Published), and Time Change: New “Life” Poems (Self-Published).
As a journalist, her writing has also appeared in Upscale magazine, Rolling Out, and other publications. With Facebook, Kupenda has transformed her profile page into cultural arts voicebox where she frequently posts information and participates in dialogue.
Kupenda obtained a B.A. degree in English from Spelman College and pursued a Master’s degree candidate at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in Africana Women’s Studies concentrating in Literature and Culture. A natural progression of her creative inquiry, the focus of Kupenda’s research is Adrienne Herndon -- turn-of-the-century dramatist, Atlanta University educator, architect of The Herndon Home, and first wife of Atlanta’s first Black millionaire, Alonzo Herndon. Kupenda is founder of House of Life Dinner Theatre & Supper Club, a presenting organization she founded in 2002.
With dinner theatres, concerts, lectures, booksignings, and special receptions, House of Life has presented numerous artists and scholars including writer/activist/commentator Kevin Powell, playwright / novelist Pearl Cleage, UK’s “Queen of Soul” Julie Dexter, Scholar and Novelist Daniel Black, Hip-Hop artist / activist Killer Mike and others.
House of Life has worked collaboratively with organizations such as the National Black Arts Festival, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Hillside Chapel & Truth Center, Morehouse College to present Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, Barbara Chase-Riboud, and others. House of Life has since expanded to provide communications, pr / marketing, and event services for organizations and individuals. As an avid promoter of the cultural arts, last spring Kupenda facilitated Judith Jamison’s visit to Spelman College to mark her final season as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Artistic Director.
In addition to her creative and scholarly work, Kupenda serves as a Board Member of SWEEAC (Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center) and consultant to the Women’s Economic Development Agency (WEDA). She enjoys working with organizations and projects to address hunger & homelessness, interfaith / intercultural understanding, women’s issues, and mental health.
A breast cancer survivor, she is also an advocate for holistic health and cancer prevention and survival. Kupenda is the proud mother of two daughters.