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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Guest Post: Brooklyn Poetry Picks

by Mahogany L. Browne

I have the dream job. I write poems for a living. I work with poets every week. I eat, sleep, watch, dream, and digest poetry. In the mornings, I sit at the intimate Australian-owned coffee shop near the Brooklyn Museum, or the woman-owned global soul food cafĂ© on Underhill near the Brooklyn Central library, and read poetry for hours. Whether online, in books, or via YouTube, I feast on figurative language for daily inspiration. My research of poetry—specifically contemporary poets—arms me as a curator and teaching artist in New York City. It allows me an accessible artillery when introducing poetry to New York City’s Public School system. As a BAM teaching artist, I recognize the necessity of acknowledging all of poetry’s nuances, and take the research of Brooklyn’s own treasures seriously. Here are a couple of my favorite Brooklyn poets!

Shanelle Gabriel, a native of Brooklyn, is my go-to poet when facilitating lectures on the necessity of humor and poetry. The Flatbush resident is a singer and actress, mainly writing in free verse. Her topics range from gender roles to rites of passage and lupus awareness. She is a crowd favorite with her sultry vibrato and is an active advocate for youth mentorship.  

Jive Poetic, a Brooklyn resident, poet, teacher, and DJ, is a prime example of literary intellect with a hip-hop foundation. I rely on his poetry when introducing forms. He writes in formal forms including pantoum and iambic pentameter, proving extremely helpful in disabling a student’s fear of poetry. His topics includes personal reflection, introspection, and media analysis.

Brooklyn is a hotbed of talent, home to the greatest thinkers, writers and musicians. I am a lucky woman; this art of performance poetry allows me work with such inspiring and transformative artists. It constantly feeds me the best parts of Brooklyn.

Mahogany L. Browne is the poetry program director for the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and curates its famous Friday Night Slam. See her perform with a host of amazing spoken word artists, musicians, and dancers in
Poetry 2013: Game Changers at the BAM Harvey Theater this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. ***** A five star evening at BAM Harvey Theater/ Poetry 2013:Game Changers. On display was the rich talent of masterful storytellers, musicians and dancers that seduced the audience with their treasure of words, movement, music and unrestrained joy. Loved it!!! A heartfelt thank you to all. Continue to spread the love.


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