Tag Archives: Black Poets

Poet Mentors Incarcerated Youth Through Art. Meet Messiah Ramkissoon.

23 Apr
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Not only did he win 3 times at New York’s Apollo Theater for his lyrical skill, he was also a featured performer at the unveiling of the MLK monument in Washington, DC, and that’s not the end of his impressive resume. Learn how this master of language is using his talent to change the lives of others for the better.
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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories available on Amazon. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets and currently earning her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University. Catch her spotlighting black excellence in theatre and the performing arts with Black And Making It. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Trayvon Martin Dedication: “Black is Just as Right”

15 Jul
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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and author of Ephemeral Moments. This book of poetry and short stories addresses issues such as: struggles of faith, domestic abuse, racial injustice, a falling economy, and contemporary love – all through the eyes of a Christian. It is available for purchase on Create Space eStoreTo preview the book, click here To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here.

Featured Poem of the Week: “Man Where the Leaders At” by Bernell Wesley

6 May

leaders at

Way back when I was young,

When things were good, when

Just to be on a bus was good enough,

When,

Kids acted like they should, when

They didn’t talk back,

Did their homework,

Because making good grades was yea, good,

Man, where the leaders at,

When, words like wack, crack, slack and jacked

Meant nothing to be alarmed about, when

Pants were worn way up, not way down, when

On the down low, meant you had more than one

Woman, not a woman and man

Man, where the leaders at, when

There were no policemen, metal detectors

In school lock-downs or Saturday in school arrests,

Man, where the leaders at,

Man, where the leaders at,

Man, where the leaders at.

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About the Author: 

“I am a junior at Georgia State University completing my degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in History. I was born on a sugar cane plantation outside of  Morgan City Louisiana 59 years ago. I am honored to have worked on Operation Moses, the first ever air lift of the Beta  Israel or Falashas from Sudan to America and Israel in 1984. I am [also] writing a script: Operation Moses: A Journey From a  Louisiana Sugar Cane Plantation To Africa.”
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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

“Assisting developing poets with vital resources”: Solid Truth Entertainment of Las Vegas

22 Oct

Ida Marie Collins a.k.a. SOLID

Hello YBP Family!

Previously, we talked about how chap books can help you establish and build your presence in the poetry community. There are many different independent publishers who publish these fun-sized poetry booklets. Heck, you might even venture out and do it for yourself. Great. So now, what are other ways to help promote yourself and your work? Today, we hear from the founder of Solid Truth Entertainment, Ida Marie Collins — popularly known as SOLID.

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1.)   Please briefly share with the YBP community how you came to be a woman of poetry and how long you’ve been in the business. 

 I would say I have been a silent poet all my life. Writing and reading came natural to me; it was my passion since the age of 3. As a youngster, I easily memorized lengthy speeches and poems as a way to overcome a speech impediment. I never performed poetry in public before 2006. After seeing 2 local Las Vegas poets, Bliss and LaBlaque onstage, I was instantly inspired and immediately went home to begin writing. Being from Philly, music, culture, and poetry was in my blood, but this new style of performance poetry intrigued me and awakened a longing to speak my own painful truth with authority. 

I began writing on a daily basis and even performed on the double decker bus on the strip during the weekends under the name “Ms. Peaches.” Yearning for a place to express my work I began seeking open mics, and 300 performances later, I am no longer known as the soft, squishy fruit that bruises easily. I am strong, but flexible, and now known as “SOLID” – Socially Organizing Literally Inspiring Desire.” Although I produce and host shows for other artists, I still consider myself a newbie; an eternal student. I am truly a ‘groupie’ for poetry.

2.)  As the founder of Solid Truth Entertainment, you state that the goal of your company is to assist developing poets and other artists with vital resources and networking opportunities to ensure a smooth transition into the entertainment business. Will you please inform our readers of how your company achieves this? 

I am a social butterfly and a social media marketing specialist. By combining the information I collected while doing research for my own projects, I found various ways to help others. I began to share that information freely with other aspiring artists. That grew into an intense desire to teach others the correct ways to move forward while bartering or working with a minimal budget.

 SOLID Truth Entertainment coordinates events that allow upcoming artists to gain experience on stage, while promoting their products and services to industry professionals and fundraisers that can assist them to get to the next level. When other business owners or non-profits see that artists are hungry, sincere, and dedicated to SUCCESS, they are more than willing to offer the vital feedback needed to help the artist elevate their game. It comes from mutual respect. Everybody loves to be entertained and inspired.

3.)  Compared to the competitors of Solid Truth Entertainment, what sets your company apart? What services and benefits do you offer that would encourage writers to use your company over others?

SOLID Truth Entertainment feels there is no competition in EXCELLENCE. We pride ourselves on a job well done. STE provides consultations, referrals, mentoring, artist development, and leadership based on the needs of the individual artist or group. We provide coaching and training that enhances self-awareness and inspires creativity. Mental and behavioral stability have often been an issue with entertainers in the past, so we start with the individual artist first. Our seasoned consultants have proven success records and years of experience in the industry. We believe to do your best, you should be willing to learn from the best.

It is imperative that artists begin with the basics. Talent is not the only aspect that guarantees success. One must be dedicated, self-motivated, and balanced to have longevity in this business. STE delivers its products and services with truth, honesty, and respect. The process of self-discovery is just the first phase of knowing what you can accomplish as an artist. It’s not always about money.

4.)  Given that Solid Truth Entertainment is based in Las Vegas, in what regions of the United States does your company serve? 

Technology has allowed us to provide our services to artists worldwide. We use webinars, conference calling, video technology, and social media marketing to share much needed information. The personal touch is always there, because we plan the training and coaching sessions around the schedule of the artist. STE has worked with artists from the bay area and southern California, to Gary, Indiana, NY, New Jersey, Philadelphia, NC, SC, Florida, and Texas. By staying connected to a vast network of experienced artists who are dedicated to the success of others, we are able to offer referrals in every area. It’s really up to the artist to provide STE with the information that can help us help them. 

5.) What would you say is the number one thing to avoid doing while trying to build a career as a poet, and why?

Be original. There is only limited power in mimicking the talents, cadence, or style of others. Remember it is the inner voice that produces the outer glow. In the midnight sky all the stars shine, but each one has its own brilliance and spectrum of light. It is better to stand out than to try to fit in. Everyone has star potential.

6.)   Where can readers learn even more about you, your company, and your work? 

More information on SOLID Truth and SOLID Truth Entertainment can be found respectively at http://www.solidtruthlv.wordpress.com and solidtruthent.webs.com.

Thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise with the YBP community. We appreciate you!

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Experience the power of the Penn. Keep writing, stay blessed, & stay tuned to Your Black Poets.

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook.

Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. To see her writings and services, click here. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here

Featured Poem of the Week: “I Am My Mother My Father My Child” by Claudette Scholfield-Grimes

16 Oct

My mother knew not how to love me

My father chose to be free

Abandoned to find my own way

I chose to parent me

I am my own mother

I gave birth to my identity

I am my own father

The junior to only me

I taught my child to be a man

I taught him how to respect

I, father and mother of his birth

I taught him not to neglect

Like a mother I held my self tightly

When I found myself in pain

Alone I walked the floor nightly

I choose to lay no blame

Like a father of my only child

I would not let myself go

Who could better protect me

Than the father and mother I know

I am my own father

Preparing my son to leave the nest

The rite of passage in fatherly pride

I prepared him to past the test

I am my own mother

My only child I must protect

Questioning the motives of others

Would they too leave him to neglect?

So like a mother I questioned

Can they love my child more?

Can they provide protection?

Pay attention and not ignore

I am my own mother

I am my mother’s only child

I am my own father

I gave myself my father’s style

I have taught my child to distinguish

The good from the bad

I taught this child to discover

What I never had

I taught my child to seek wisdom

The likes I never knew

I have taught this child to listen

The way good parents do

His  mother will never abandoned

His father will never forsake

This child will not have to wonder

What is real and what is fake

I am my own mother

I love my only son

I am my own father

Beholden to only One

I will make my child a good child

I will protect him from all harm

I will hold my child oh so closely

Hold him tightly in my arms

…these arms that are my own.

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Experience the power of the Penn. Keep writing, stay blessed, & stay tuned to Your Black Poets.

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook.

Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. To see her writings and services, click here. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here. To like Your Black Poets on Facebook, click here.

“September 11. 2” by Albert Carrasco a.k.a. Infinite the Poet

12 Sep

I’m just an image in a sonogram, when it rammed, when you ran to no prevail, in fact mama was at a visit at the exact same time it fell, Tv showed a dust cloud devouring the crowd, it used to just scrape the sky

Daddy I wish you would of seen me all wobbly, when I first started walking, or did you see? Can you see me? If u could I hope u weren’t upset at me when I tripped, because I have a booboo I bruised my knee, didn’t know to put my hands out so I also cut my lip, it will heal, I’m only 3

Dad mom told me your in heaven, she says its paradise, so you will live there forever, it must look nice, angels and rainbows, stars that shine so very bright, I close my eyes and imagine what you would of looked like? besides all the pictures, I use my imagination, and animation to bring you to life, next month is my birthday dad, ill be 7

(sobs) dad I want you to hold me so bad, i i i want hold you even more than ever, moms says not to be sad, I used to be sad when I was younger, because I didn’t comprehend, now that I’m ten I read all about those men, those men that hijacked those planes, those men who left my father to just a name, those men that brought down his work place in flames, those men that caused my widow mother so much pain!!!, my life hadn’t even began, when it would never be the same!! I love you daddy

Infinite the Poet 2012

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. She is also a freelance editorpoet, and spoken word artist. To publicize your poetry events on YBP for free, click here. To like Your Black Poets on Facebook, click here. To become Ayvaunn’s Facebook friend, click here.

“Thorn in my Side” by Ayvaunn Penn

9 Sep

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. She is also a freelance editorpoet, and spoken word artist. To like Your Black Poets on Facebook, click here. To become Ayvaunn’s Facebook friend, click here.