Despite being a relatively left-brain analytical thinker, I have a very creative side. Over the years, I've discovered that being creative isn't simply an indulgence but a necessity. It allows me to let go of stress and frustration while at the same time experiencing part of who God is.
Whether they are written, spoken, or sung WORDS are my passion! I believe that words have immense power. The power to give life and the power to take it away. And the way in which we use (or abuse) them reflects the truth of what is in our heart.
As long as I can remember I've been entranced by the combination of rhymes and rhythms. Especially the music from the 80's. Perhaps because it was still in it's rawest form before the corporations took over. When the hardships of the ghettos were tales of caution rather than glorification. Being a person who tries to follow the teachings of Jesus, I love honest hard hitting rhymes that get at the core of life and speak the truth instead of the lies of sex, drugs, and money.
Sphere of Hip Hop - Awesome site for underground hip hop
The ability to tell a story, evoke strong emotions, and paint mental pictures with words, to me, is the essence of poetry and the spirit of good hip hop. So it's no wonder I turned to the power & creativity of words when I was at my weakest. Over the years, I've learnt that my ability to use words (both verbal and written) is one of my strengths. Whether it was expression through depression, verbally boxing a lawyer into a corner, passing my knowledge onto someone new or stepping on stage to perform it is not just what I do but who I am.
I hope to publish my work or be asked to share it at a venue sometime. In the meantime, I'm working on self-publishing a small chapbook. Of course i've been in the planning stage for almost a year now. At least I now have a bio pic and cover art. Now I just need to edit, print, & bind it.
With a history of loving hip hop and writing poetry, I can say with confidence that it was only a matter of time before the page met the stage. My first real taste was when I came across Gil Scott-Heron's poem "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" in high school. Spoken with passion over a jazzy instrumental the piece was laden with references to the politics and racism of the 60's. I didn't understand most of it. But I felt it ring true in my soul.
It wasn't until my early 20's that I met 2 guys who were into spoken word at a conference in Ohio. They both went to the Mental Graffiti slam in Chicago, the birthplace of Poetry Slams, and performed some of their stuff. I was instantly hooked. I went home and began trolling YouTube for videos to watch. I soon discovered Def Poetry and became a huge fan of Taylor Mali and his poems "What Teachers Make" and "The Impotence of Proofreading". Eventually in my searches I discovered that Toronto had it's own local slam. So I got together a few friends and headed dowtown for the February show. We were blown away. So many great poets perfromed. Many of whom I now consider friends.
Burlington Slam Project - My "home slam" where I help with keeping time, collecting money, running the blog, and the occasionaly hosting duty.
Guelph Spoken Word - A great slam very close to home and where I won my first (and only) slam.
Toronto Poetry Slam - The first place I saw and performed at a poetry slam