Prahlad (born Dennis W. Folly) began writing poetry in elementary school and was publishing his work by high school. Inspired first by Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, his poetry became more socially focused when, as a teenager, he was introduced to poets of the Black Arts Movement, such as Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, and Haki Madhubuti. As an undergraduate student, Prahlad revived, and served as the executive editor of, the Richmond Arts Magazine, the poetry and art journal of Virginia Commonwealth University. He worked as a poet-in-the-schools, through the Richmond Humanities Center, along with poets such as Michael Mott and Dabney Stuart.
After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978, Prahlad continued to publish in journals and became a member of the Berkeley Poets Coop collective. His book of poems, Hear My Story and Other Poems, was published by the Berkeley Poets Workshop and Press in 1982. Prahlad’s poetry, like his music took a back seat during the last few decades while he focused on his academic career, but he has returned to his first love and is actively seeking publishers for two new manuscripts of poems.
Prahlad's newest book of poetry, As Good As Mango, was published by Stephen F. Austin University Press in 2011.
“His writing smacks of more than the salt of the earth. His luxuriantly sensual, compassionate vision … evokes the sugar of the earth. He updates the inner and outer voices of our nation, revealing secrets we need to know in order to survive.” -Wendy Marian Stephens, Bay Area Poet