Unique's profile

Unique Mical Robinson (a/k/a Uni Q. Mical) is a multimedia performance artist, poet, professor, and proud Baltimore City native. At immediate glance, it becomes clear that Unique’s work embodies the widely circulated feminist phrase, “the personal is political”. And yet, for her, this is no cliche, but a lived principle. Unique pulls inspiration from Baltimore's terrain, with all its pride, pitfalls and possibilities, Hip-Hop Feminism, and the cathartic, igniting verses of the 1970s Black Arts Movement (Audre Lorde, Gil Scott Heron, June Jordan, Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton, & James Baldwin). Her life’s intention is to inspire the artist in everyone she meets, and to hold accessible creative spheres of healing within community, via the arts as a vessel.

Robinson began writing poetry at age 10 in Arlington Elementary School, surprisingly motivated by a surprising standardized test, "You're A Poet & You Don't Know It". From here, she continued to write poetry, and eventually found the courage to perform her work at age 11 at her family's church in Park Heights, the Northwest Baltimore community she was raised in. She progressed to Baltimore's legendary open mic scene in 10th grade, after placing 1st in her first high school citywide poetry slam in 2003. Unique was a frequent performer and patron of Notre Maison and Be Free Fridays, being awestruck at the talent of many poets beyond her years, and, utilized the space to address issues such as homophobia in the Black community, raising these conversations at a time when many queer performers were asked to stay silent. Through poetry, she found her voice, confidence and identity, and eventually, purpose.

Robinson's work is often visceral, its delivery intentionally unabashed, and her words, rife in their critique of systemic oppression and harm - yet, simultaneously envisioning a world where this harm no longer exists. Through her artistry, she transmutes her multifaceted experiences coming of age as a queer Black artist wrestling with the complexities of creative and destructive forces, present on both sides of her working class families in the city. Her stage presence has remained dynamic, vibrant, and consistent throughout each and every phase of her life, with audiences awestruck from tuning into ancestral invocations in her voice.

Not only has Unique poured her heart into artistry, but into the communities she inhabits as an activist. While at Baltimore City College High School, she became a student activist, sparked by the injustices of an underfunded Baltimore City Public School system. She began reading her poetry at student-led protests for funding, and eventually featured in Wide Angle Youth Media's Schooling Baltimore Street (2005). Unique then ventured to Amherst, MA for her undergraduate degree at Hampshire College, furthering her artistry by concentrating in Creative Writing & Theater, with a dual major in African-American Studies. Through Hampshire, she connected with the nationwide Reproductive Justice circuit, interning with SisterSong Reproductive Justice Collective in Atlanta, GA.

Upon graduating from Hampshire, she worked as a Community Organizer in Brooklyn, NY with Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL). Unique later returned to graduate school at Mills College in Oakland, CA to pursue her MFA in English/Creative Writing & Poetry. While there, she linked up with fellow poets in her Poetry MFA program, forming Pr3ssPlayPoets, a Black woman poetry collective. During the initial phase of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2015, she and fellow Pr3ssPlayPoets wrote and starred in The State of Black Bodies: A Poetic Stage Production twice to sold out audiences in Oakland and Berkeley, CA. The group would later revive the stage production for the Bay Area's National Queer Arts Festival in 2018. 

For over 20 years, Unique has performed locally and nationally, most recently curating the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration for The Walters Art Museum. In the Baltimore region, she has featured at Mickalene Thomas’ A Moment’s Pleasure Opening Exhibition at Baltimore Museum of Art, The Peale Museum, Parkway Theater, The Crown, Creative Alliance, The Pride Center of MD, and Eubie Blake Center. She has also featured in poetic performances, theater & music productions, and multimedia art exhibits at Busboys & Poets (Washington, DC), National Mall (as part of FORCE’s Monument Quilt), WOW Cafe (New York, NY), La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA), Eastside Arts Alliance (Oakland, CA), and SOMArts Cultural Center (San Francisco, CA). She was Chairperson and Host of 2022 Baltimore Pride, and was the cover feature for Baltimore Magazine’s GameChangers Issue that same year. In Fall 2023, Unique shared her profound love for Baltimore City onstage at Visit Baltimore's Annual Meeting, as part of a Keynote Fireside Chat with International Travel Journalist Daniel Scheffler. 

As an Arts Administrator & Educator, Unique seeks to provide opportunities for future artists to discover their voice, as she did in her youth. She regularly hosts and features at events throughout the region, and facilitates The Lighthouse Writing Workshop, a free writing workshop for writers of all levels at The Motor House, every First Thursday. She is a Poetry & Performance Teaching Artist for K-12 students in Baltimore City Schools with Arts Every Day, receiving the Emerging Teaching Artist award in 2017, and appearing as the Keynote Speaker for their 2023 Summer Arts Integration Conference. Robinson has served in administrative roles for various Baltimore nonprofits (Lyric Baltimore, AFRO Charities, DewMore Baltimore, Wide Angle Youth Media, and more). Unique also serves as a member of her alma mater Hampshire College’s Writers Advisory Council. Since 2016, she was Faculty in Humanistic Studies at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and is now Director of MICA's MFA Community Arts Program. 

Unique has three poetic book releases: flicked/forgotten/FREED (2014), Four Wings & A Prayer: A Charm City Churn (Kindle Publishing, 2019), and (not) in service (Homie House Press, 2023)She later expanded into music and film, releasing the vesica piscis EP (2019), Tha 27th Letter, Vol. I (2019) & Tha 27th Letter, Vol. II (2020), Tha 27th Letter, Vol. II: REMIX (2020), GETCHA LIFE! EP (2021), Cosmic Drama (2022), and Elevator Excursions (2023). In 2022, she created the short film, "769 W. Saratoga St." (a historical archive), then becoming Director of Baltimore-based collective GMD Film's Decisions II (2023) and Don't Trust (2024). These musical and film projects can be found on all streaming platforms, or simply, here at https://linktr.ee/uniquetheword. 



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