Annika Michelle is a Southern California native who began writing poems, essays and short stories as an adolescent, shortly before fleeing abuse in the home. She was a homeless runaway on the streets of Los Angeles at age fifteen. After obtaining her high school diploma while in juvenile detention, she became a bride of 20 years and mother to a severely disabled child. She has parented over a dozen children in foster care with physical and mental health diagnoses. Annika Michelle has earned four Associate’s degrees from Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA in Accounting, Business Management, Liberal Arts and General Education while competing on the Foothill League Women’s Championship track and field team, earning Academic Athlete of the Year Scholarship Award and multiple Dean’s List awards. She obtained her Baccalaureate degree in the field of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington during 2011, summa cum laude, and has served as an officer in three student organizations, including two honor societies.
She currently on hiatus from graduate school, having completed all but theses, for a dual degree program majoring in Social Work and Criminology/Criminal Justice. Annika Michelle identifies as a social justice artist entrepreneur and enjoys the blending of creative expression through varied media, social interaction and empowerment.
Creative writing has been an outlet for dealing with many traumatic events she has experienced including physical abuse, sexual assaults, homelessness, divorce, mental health issues, addiction and loss of a child.
It was in 2010 that she first shared her work on stage at Dallas venue Just a Buck at the Back Beat Cafe. Since 2012 she has been performing regularly and began hosting throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. She won the 2013 Memorial Day Weekend Amateur Poetry Slam which landed her first feature as a spoken word artist on her 40th birthday! She has been a guest performer at F.L.O.W. (for love of words) and featured at We Are Worthy Women both produced by MasterPiece, Love Jonz produced by Mike Guinn, Voice produced by Tina L. Turner Young and two installments of In The Words of a Sistah produced by Brenda Randall, Afro(DG)ak produced by Candice Liger, DFW Vagina Monolouges 2016, She Speaks, a women’s empowerment multimedia artist event produced by Blaqgoose, two appearances at Impress Entertainment’s Rip the Mic, Red Pump Project’s Cupcakes & Condoms Dallas HIV Awareness Event and The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Season 39 Poets & Jazz 5.
Annika Michelle has been a guest on Neo Vibe Radio, Success Thoughts Live, Eddie Caine Radio, The Benét Embry Radio Show and Da Mission Radio programs and Grass Root Salute Video Show and Poetry on Rye video production. Annika Michelle is a member People Of Extraordinary Talent (P.O.E.T) Organization and has co-hosted P.O.E.T radio program Voices Behind The Pen. She began frequently hosting Fort Worth Slams & Open Mic during 2013 and has also hosted Dallas Poetry Slam and The Poet’s Happy Hour. She is the founder and president of Volition Unlimited, a non-profit organization that raises awareness and empowerment through the arts and community service. Volition Unlimited currently partners with Lyrical Expression Poetry Club, a student organization at the University of Texas at Arlington for an open mic and slam venue, as well as two other weekly open mics in Dallas and Fort Worth featuring local and national artists and partners with other charitable organizations for awareness events, workshops and consultation for artist development.
An excerpt from Annika Michelle’s autobiographic short story ‘the first and the worst’ was published in Women Unified in Consciousness online magazine August 2014 and her first cd/book set ‘life @ 40’ was released January 2015, followed by ‘love:(k)not’ Valentines Day 2016. Annika Michelle writes from life experiences and observations as well as empirical research with the intent to bring people to more greatly enriched connectedness through understanding of not only relatable topics but through empathetic enlightenment. She believes her purpose in life is to ‘love the forsaken’ by empowering those within her reach through her words, exampleship and service.