BEAUTY FOR ASHES
THE ALCHEMY OF MY EXPERIENCE
Damion B. Sanders is a Brooklyn born writer and Performance Artist.
Shortly after his birth, his overwhelmed teenage mother gave him up temporarily to her extended family. Unfortunately, both his mother and father became addicted to crack cocaine and “temporary custody ” turned into 15 years of estrangement. With neither parent financially contributing, the verbal and physical abuse dealt by those who were charged with his care seemed to grow at the same rate as his needs. As a child he coped with the pain of rejection by reading, writing and drawing. By adolescence, he could say that he had experienced abuse in all forms. And at 19 years of age, he became a survivor of gun violence. For him, the path that would lead to emotional healing was circular. For years Damion walked through the wilderness of depression and struggled briefly with self-injury. That profound pain is what eventually brought him to the cross of Christ. But an understanding of what forgiveness truly is is what finally kept him there. Rather than growing callous, he grew tender- an asset that gives depth and truth to his writing- a skill birthed originally as a way of coping. When he became present to the powerful impact that forgiveness had on his own life, he crafted his life experience into a one-man show (Indelible) to share with the world. On opening night he proposed to his wife Yvonne. Damion, Yvonne and their son Sevin live in Upper Manhattan.
To date, Damion has spoken internationally as well as at several public schools throughout New York City and New Jersey. He has shared his gifts with men incarcerated at Rikers Island and has conducted poetry workshops for at-risk, inner-city youth as well as New York City’s homeless population.
His mission is based out of the scripture in Isaiah 61:3... to give them beauty for ashes. With each poem a prescription, Damion is here to help the hurting heal and change worlds with his words. His core belief is that freed people should free people.
When a painful experience has made one better, an alchemy takes each time that person testifies. During the speaking and listening exchange, the same cuffs that once shackled the sharer melts down into a key to that then liberates the listener.