Legendary poet and professor Nikki Giovanni retires from Virginia Tech

Nikki Giovanni, the legendary and world-renowned poet, is retiring from Virginia Tech after 35 years of professorship at the esteemed institution. Giovanni has stepped down from her throne in the English department, which took effect on Sept. 1, 2022. “In all fairness, I’m getting old,” Giovanni, 79, told Virgina Tech News. “I hope that I’ve done […]

Live: Meet Harold Green III, author of ‘Black Roses’

Storyteller and renowned poet Harold Green III explains the creative backstory to his Ode to Black women during Women’s Month. Black Roses: Odes Celebrating Powerful Black Women, pays tribute to all Black women by focusing on visionaries and leaders of our time.

Poet J. Ivy dominates the genre with multiple Grammy nominations

J. Ivy is an NAACP Image Award-winning and Grammy-nominated poet, spoken word artist, actor and songwriter. He is known for his appearances on “HBO Def Poetry Jam” and his feature on Ye West’s Grammy-winning album The College Dropout. Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain, is Ivy’s third book and his fifth album, Catching Dreams: […]

Grammy-nominated poet J. Ivy tells creatives to keep perfecting their craft

Fresh off his Grammy nomination for best spoken word album, J. Ivy feels like he’s peaking in his career at the right time. The 45-year-old poet had a special message for any individual who feels the need to measure themselves by an imaginary clock. “There [are] a lot of elements out here that affect us, […]

Poet and author Deana Dean opens the door to her home on ‘Merrill Avenue’

Chicago poet and author Deana Clark-Anderson, aka Deana Dean, is a known presence in the world of poetry and open mics around the globe. Lyrically, she stands tall among her peers and her nurturing approach provides a space for growth and understanding. Dean is also a three-time author and her most recent work, Merrill Avenue, […]

S.E. Anthony shares her bold journey to healing in new book of poetry

When author-spoken word poet, S.E. Anthony speaks, she invites her audience to follow her on a bold journey. The journey is poetic muse of self-reflection. Anthony, a D.C. native, has shared her journey of healing through her poetic work, Manipulated Memories: Prose and Poetry.  The passion behind Anthony’s pen stems from a desire to help […]

Kwame Dawes and the Poetry Foundation reintroduce ‘American Life in Poetry’

On March 15, 2021, award-winning poet, author, and editor Kwame Dawes, Ph.D., published his first weekly column as editor of “American Life in Poetry,” a free weekly column for newspapers and online publications featuring a poem by a contemporary American poet as part of a partnership between the Poetry Foundation in Chicago and University of […]

Teen poet Fanta Ballo awarded 1st ‘Wonder Grant’ by Shawn Mendes Foundation

Age is not a determining factor of success. Eighteen-year-old college senior and prolific writer Fanta Ballo is evidence of that. The Harlem, New York, native tells the story of her community and identity through spoken word poetry. A rigorous academic, Ballo was the 2019 commencement speaker at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts, where […]

Crystal Senter-Brown shares the process of turning her book into a movie

Crystal Senter-Brown is a writer and poet who lives out her passion — empowering women and children through her stories. The Morristown, Tennessee, native has been writing and performing since she was 9 years old which prepared her for her future to pen seven books. She is also a first-generation college student and a two-time […]

Writer Marc Lacy shares insight into his creative process

Marc Lacy is a speaker, writer and producer for AVO Publishing LLC. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, and a proud graduate of Alabama A&M University, he has performed across the country at many national literary events and spoken word venues. Rolling out spoke with the award-winning poet for our “Creative Class” series about his career […]

Author Elizabeth Acevedo discusses new book, ‘Clap When You Land’

Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican American author and poet. Her debut novel, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her other books include Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths and With The Fire On High. We spoke with her about her latest tome, Clap When You Land, which is a novel-in-verse that details the grief and love […]

Poetic Voice innovator Sekou Andrews reveals why ‘disruptive’ thought is key

In this exclusive interview, Sekou Andrews — who’s carved out a niche of his own that combines spoken word and public speaking — shares with rolling out how the “human experience” serves as a moving source of inspiration for him. He also details what it was like losing out on a Grammy to the incomparable […]

J. Ivy discusses his role as president of Chicago Recording Academy

J. Ivy is an artist, poet, actor, and author. From being the poet featured on Kanye West’s Grammy Award-winning album, The College Dropout, to penning three books about the power of forgiveness, Ivy is always pushing the needle for our culture. We spoke with Ivy about his new role with the Recording Academy and how […]

Romane Armand penned ‘Book of Rhymes’ to inspire poets and songwriters

When it comes to rhymes, Romane Armand wrote the book about it. He spent more than a decade compiling Book of Rhymes: A Laxative for Creative Constipation, a unique 440-page reference guide to help fellow creatives, poets and songwriters quickly find words that rhyme, which he self-published in 2016. During that decade, Armand also graduated […]

Ernestine Johnson Morrison shares how she raised millions at 2019 RIDE

Ernestine Johnson Morrison is an actress, poet, and the founder of the first black-owned SEC-regulated real estate crowdfund. We spoke to Johnson Morrison – a moderator and speaker at the two-day RIDE Conference 2019 about innovation and technology. What does innovation mean to you? I’m at the rolling out Ride Conference 2019 and I’m leaving […]

‘Poetress’ Ernestine Johnson speaks words so truthful they kick you in the gut

Ernestine Johnson is a compelling actress and internationally recognized spoken word artist born and raised in Los Angeles. She is infamous for being raw, uncensored and untamed on the mic, speaking on matters dear to the heart. Her original spoken word piece “Average Black Girl” performed live on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” went viral with […]