South Africa

so i just finished writing a grant to hopefully bring a bunch of poets from South Africa to Washington, DC next year. i had 4 grants due this week for work, plus one of my own as an individual. all of that while i was also running the largest youth poetry slam festival (and probably the only one) in the DMV area. it’s been stressful and hectic, but i feel like i accomplished a great deal of important things this week.

here are some of the kick-ass poets i’m trying to bring to DC. cross your fingers, say a prayer, and send good vibes to the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities so that they will approve my request.

Bianca Flex Ishmael

Simpi Vangi-Gantsho-1

afurakan

Shout Out to the Youth Empowerment Summit!

today is going to be awesome. I get to meet a hundred or so high school students from various schools around York, PA at Martin Library’s 8th Annual Youth Empowerment Summit. i’ll be delivering the keynote address, running a couple workshops, and of course performing some poems.

Martin Library YES

hopefully these kids are ready to rock out.

we’ll see.

the Teen Advisory Board here is on point. they set me up with not only one, but two personal assistants/ guides for the day. they’ve already hooked me up with free muffins, waters, and a badass t-shirt with the TAB cat on the back. it’s okay to be jealous.

 

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness

Here in Washington, DC, the Split This Rock Poetry Festival brings poets and activists from around the world together every other year. March 26 – 30, 2014 we are celebrating the transformative power of the imagination with poetry of provocation and witness. Please join us if you can.

I’m performing Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on the Millennium Stage with #SplitThisRock2014.

Split This Rock Festival 2014

 

We’ve got an amazing lineup of featured poets, many free readings and performances, and late night open mics.

Here’s a video I put together of some of these stellar poets speaking on the importance of Split This Rock. #SplitThisRock2014

 

please do join if you can.

Full Schedule of Festival Events here. 

 

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Streetposia Crew in Stockholm, Sweden

Streetposia Crew in Stockholm, Sweden

I’ve been enjoying this week in Sweden with Palestinian activists and poets from around the world, here at #Streetposia. We’re talking oppression, resistance, BDS and academic/cultural boycotts, learning and teaching and performing every day.

On Sunday April 13th JBT in Concert @ 5th & K

come see the Busboys and Poets Open Mic Host Crew in concert

poetry concert flier

 

RSVP online via the Facebook event page.

 

 

Celebrated social justice wordsmith has performed poetry on stages from the Kennedy Center to South Africa

Thomas “Vocab” Hill is one of my students on the DC Youth Slam Team. He is also featured as one of the 2014 Young Futurists on TheRoot.com. If you go to his page and share it on either Facebook or Twitter, you help him win TheRoot.com’s Young Futurist Award. Please read his post, watch his poem in the video below, and share with your friends.

Yes, SHARE THIS LINK with all your networks, NOW.

Thanks for supporting Thomas. He is absolutely wonderful. You can follow him on all social media sites @BlackGayPoet and be sure to check him out at the Split This Rock Poetry Festival in late March in DC.

theroot.com/articles/lists/2014/01/the_2014_young_futurists/thomas_hill.html

that’s the link. please share it with facebook and twitter friends. see Thomas below.

Thomas is one of twelve students who will be performing on Feb. 22nd at the Grand Slam Finals for the 2014 DC Youth Slam Team at Arena Stage in DC. Come see him and the rest of the gang. Tickets on sale now at www.DCyouthSLAM.eventbrite.com

Finalist in Harvard’s Pluralism Project Photography Contest!

most of you probably know me as a poet or a DJ. you may have seen me taking pictures at some poetry slams but probably don’t consider me a photographer. i didn’t really consider myself a photographer either really, until recently when i began shooting and editing more purposefully. young poets i work with are still the majority of my focus, but i’m expanding from writing and performance into photo and video documentation and editing.

i decided to enter a few of my photos into a photography contest. i didn’t win. i did, however, make it in as one of the finalists. to me that’s a big deal. or at least worth noting on my website :)

here is my photo that was selected as a finalist in Harvard University’s Pluralism Project’s 2013 Photography Contest.

After a successful meeting at the Smithsonian African Art Museum on the National Mall, students of the DC Youth Slam Team celebrate outside with an impromptu dance party and freestyle cypher. The DC Youth Slam Team brings together teenage poets across lines of race, religion, socioeconomic status, and sexuality to use spoken word poetry to raise and challenge issues of social justice and build peace (July 2013).

After a successful meeting at the Smithsonian African Art Museum on the National Mall, students of the DC Youth Slam Team celebrate outside with an impromptu dance party and freestyle cypher. The DC Youth Slam Team brings together teenage poets across lines of race, religion, socioeconomic status, and sexuality to use spoken word poetry to raise and challenge issues of social justice and build peace (July 2013).

check out the other finalists here.

In the fall of 2013, the Pluralism Project announced its third annual Photography Contest to document the vibrancy of religious diversity in the United States. The DC Youth Slam Team (pictured) has students that identify as Agnostic, Atheist, Jewish, Muslim, 5 Percenter, Catholic, Baptist, and just generally Christian. It’s a very diverse group in many ways, as poetry brings people together across all identities.