Ahmed 'Knowmadic' Ali
Award-winning poet, Ahmed ‘Knowmadic’ Ali, is a full-time writer, actor, comedian, public speaker and youth worker who inspires with his dynamic, thought-provoking and humorous poetry.
Ahmed experienced intense culture shock when his family escaped the civil war in Somalia. First moving to Italy then Canada, he quickly learned what it meant to be different. During his youth Ahmed struggled to value his culture and religion, while managing confrontations with fellow students and authority. He turned to family and the arts to gain a new outlook on life. Although he would identify poetry as his passion, his professional journey began in theater and comedy.
Soon after Ahmed discovered a love for the spoken word, he became a co-founder of the Breath in Poetry Collective. He has since become the first Somali champion at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. He has also facilitated poetry workshops in a Wales correctional facility, represented Canada on the International Literary stage and received the Northlands Emerging Artist Award in 2015.
More than an accomplished poet, Ahmed uses his talents to inspire and uplift the local community. He encourages Edmonton’s aspiring poets and youth to use poetry as a positive form of self-expression and exploration of identity. A poet and community builder, Ahmed brings a contagious positivity and inclusivity to everything he does.
Ahmed Ali will serve a two-year term as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019. He is Edmonton’s seventh Poet Laureate.