Posts Tagged With: Poet

#PODCAST #MichLit Interview w/RoseMarie Wilson AKA @OneSingleRose #Poet #Published

#MichLit Interview w/RoseMarie Wilson AKA @OneSingleRose #Poet #Published

#Michlit talks w/Poet, One Single Rose about writing, publishing & marketing poetry, upcoming events and MORE! Listen!

Rosemarie Wilson a.k.a. One Single Rose is an award winning poet, writer, playwright, singer, actress, and a staunch advocate of integrity and fidelity. Her insistence that every day presents an opportunity to live, learn and love positively allows her to motivate others when living throws curves at our existence. Since March 2009, the official release of her first self-published collection of poetry “One Single Rose . . . Poetry Blossomed from a Rose Core,” she has been dubbed an inspirational poet. Her second collection of poetry entitled “One Single Rose…Out of Darkness Into Light,” and her first erotic chapbook “Pearl’s Plays” were released for her birthday in March 2012. One section of Out of Darkness Into Light collection focuses solely on poems requested by her readers.


Listen now!

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Motown Writers Network Author Feature~Victor ‘Billione’ Walker

Billione This week’s featured author is no stranger to the limelight, so shining a light on him is something he’s used to! A singer, poet and author, Billione (pronounced bil-LEE-yon) is one of Detroit’s most up and coming people to keep an eye on. He is the author of several books, including his most recent poetic play the Birth of Mars, and No Tea. No Shade, a novel set in Detroit. His thought provoking work touches on various subjects related to being a Detroit native, LGBT experiences and examining masculinity.

Come and experience the gifted one, Billione, as we talk to him about his work!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Detroit. Most of my writing is pulled from my experiences as a Detroiter.
Tell us your latest news?

I recently released my first work of fiction entitled No Tea. No Shade. Set in Detroit, it is a story about the dapper, charismatic Chauncey King, a successful Editor-in-chief of the Detroit Daily News. Chauncey goes from reporting the news to being the center of his own scandal after coming face-to-face with his turbulent past. His life seems to unravel until he meets Malcolm Dandridge at a local bathhouse and realizes that in order to be happy he must first face his biggest fear.
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing song lyrics as a child. My mother kept a journal and I would read the words she wrote and sing them. What she wrote sounded like love songs, full of joy and pain.
Other forms of my writing emerged out of my love for reading. As I child, I read books about a number of things but struggled to find characters that were similar to me. After writing song lyrics, I eventually wrote poetry and eventually fiction.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer when I began writing news in the Mumford High School newspaper. I didn’t particularly like writing news; my Journalism teacher convinced me that I was good at it. So, I stuck with it. When I went home, though, I secretly wrote song lyrics and poems.
What inspired you to write your first book?

After meeting one of my favorite authors, the late E. Lynn Harris, I mentioned to him how his characters resonated with me, and his writing inspired me to write my own novel. He told me to be sure to send it to him when I did. After getting news of his passing in 2009, I remembered how I never started working on my novel. Remembering that meeting, I began taking notes on ‘No Tea. No Shade,” and dedicated it to Lynn.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know if I have a defined writing style, but I simply write about what I know: Detroit, being Black and gay. It is important to me to stay in my lane and offer my readers an authentic experience.
How did you come up with the title?

The title No Tea. No Shade. is a common phrase in the gay community said when you want to tell someone the truth without offending them. I heard RuPaul say it frequently on RuPaul’s Drag Race and knew it reflected the circumstances of the book.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Our lives are best spent coming to terms with who we are, building authentic relationships and getting our own truths. Life is too short to be spent trying to please others. When we face our darkest fears, it will be then that we can truly deserve to live in the light.
How much of the book is realistic?

Every character in No Tea. No Shade. has elements pulled directly from my life. Of course, there are some elements that are made more dramatic to enhance the reader’s experience, but it’s all realistic and quite autobiographical.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I pulled from everything I know: Personal experiences, things I’ve heard about and things I never read about but wanted to. No Tea. No Shade. is the type of book I would read.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Books like Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Their Eyes Were Watching Godare among my favorite books and have helped shape my personal philosophy.  I have also been influenced by authors like George Orwell, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and Toni Morrison.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I consider Sylvia Hubbard a mentor. She has helped me go from a poet with a desire to self-publish to an author with multiple titles under my belt. I learned almost everything I know about independent publishing from her and the Motown Writers Network. I am sincerely grateful for the guidance and support I’ve received.
What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading an anthology of coming out stories entitled Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, edited by Derrick Tennial out of Atlanta. I contributed a story entitled Thirty-Eight, about my coming out as gay and how the messages I received through television as a child of the 80’s shaped my identity as a man.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I am inspired by a number of new authors, especially those writing poetry. Poets like Joel Fluent Greene of Detroit’s Café Mahogany days is releasing his first book of poetry this month. I am excited to celebrate him and read his new work. Also, Detroit poet T. Miller released a book called Coming Out Of Nowhere that took conversations that happened on social media to a different level.
What are your current projects?

I am currently preparing to bring my poetic play entitled The Birth of Mars to the stage. It was inspired by For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange and the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Mars took 6 years to write and examines masculinity in America.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Being a poet and having the opportunity to perform in Detroit has connected me to so many people. The artist community has been so supportive and encouraging. People like Dimonique Boyd, Crystal Campbell, jessica Care moore, Legacy Leonard, LaShaun Phoenix Moore, Omari King Wise, Kalimah Johnson and so many more have supported me as a poet and fiction writer.
Do you see writing as a career?

From the response No Tea. No Shade. has gotten, I could definitely see that happening. I love writing and enjoy the process of bringing characters to life. It isn’t easy crafting a story that makes sense, but when it’s all over, I feel accomplished and successful.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not one thing! I love my characters and the story. Well, maybe one thing… I would make it longer. The story is short, but gripping.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My interest for writing grew out of reading. My grandmother was an avid reader and it rubbed off on me.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am currently finishing up my sixth book of poetry entitled Grand Boulevard. It is mainly about my experiences as a Detroiter. I dedicated it to the late, great Detroit poet Blair.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am the king of the comma! For some reason, commas end up randomly in my writing, in places I am not so sure they belong. That’s what good editors are for!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

E. Lynn Harris and Alice Walker are among my favorite authors. Their books resonate with me because they require me to face my fears related to being Black, gay and an artist. They also have the best characters!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I travel frequently for my books, whether to perform poetry or to discuss some of the themes in them. Sometimes other people make connections in my writing that never even occurred to me.
Who designed the covers?

I designed all of the covers for my books. I am interested in having someone else design the covers for my future publications.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The most difficult part of writing books has been keeping track of the storylines and making sure they don’t conflict with each other.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that the process of writing novels takes time and cannot be rushed. Creativity in any form should not be rushed.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Observe people in their environments. Find out how people move, speak and interact. I did a lot of people watching in public places for No Tea. No Shade. The descriptions in the book are real. If you go to where my characters are and do the things they do, you will see exactly what they see.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for supporting all of the stories and words that emerge from my mind.

No Tea No Shade


No Tea. No Shade.


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Join #MotownLit Poet @OneSingleRose Monthly or invite her 2yr event #mwn #michlit

onesingleroseFor more information, go to:

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Join #MotownLit Poet @OneSingleRose Monthly or invite her 2yr event #mwn #michlit

onesingleroseFor more information, go to:

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Join #MotownLit Poet @OneSingleRose Monthly or invite her 2yr event #mwn #michlit

onesingleroseFor more information, go to:

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Join #MotownLit Poet @OneSingleRose Monthly or invite her 2yr event #mwn #michlit


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An Interview with Monica Marie Jones


Author Monica Marie Jones

On August 19th I had the pleasure of interviewing Monica Marie Jones. Monica has authored books such as Floss, Swag, Taste of My Soul, The Ups & Downs of Being round, and Sweet Soliloquy. I invite you to come with me on a journey as we enter the life of one of Detroit’s most gifted Authors.

Kai: “Sweet Soliloquy” that’s your latest right? What’s the difference between Sweet Soliloquy and Taste of my Soul?

Monica: Taste of my Soul is like all over the place but I somehow squeezed it all into the concept of a full course meal. You have your grace, your appetizer, and your main course. I placed poems to fit into each of those areas. For example, the main course is the meatier poems; the appetizer is the more spiritual poems, and so on and so forth. Sweet Soliloquy, they all revolve around the theme in my mind of passion; whether that’s passion about your career, passion about your relationships, or passion about your family. They all kind of include that theme, so that’s the difference between the two; all over the place “Taste of my Soul” and more zeroed in on one theme “Sweet Soliloquy”.

Kai: I loved Sweet Soliloquy.  My favorite three, now I loved them all but my favorite three were “One Breath”,  “Ms. Jones got a love Jones” both laughing at that one, and “The Mask”.  Tell us how you became Monica Marie Jones the Author.

Monica:  Well I have always been extra. So I’ll say so emotional and creative. What I’ve found even since I was a little girl, the best way to capture all of my emotions or capture all of the madness that is myself is through writing. So when I was younger I had a journal. Like I had a journal in elementary school and as I got older I wanted to be a writer but I felt intimidated by the thought of writing a book. So I found that I could capture an entire story in a poem, on one page. So that’s when I started writing poetry in my 20’s. When I graduated College I said “If I can write a 30 page paper, I could write a book. So that’s what kind of gave me the confidence to say okay, let me push it farther or let me take all of my poems and put them together to create one book. So that was kind of my journey to being a writer. It’s always been in me but, you know, having the confidence, and taking all the raw materials that were created by emotions and making it into something that other people could relate
to as well.

Kai: So let’s say from the start up until now, what have been the challenges that you more or less face now that you didn’t face when you first started writing?

Monica: The biggest challenge. I’m so glad that you asked me that.  I had an “Aha” moment yesterday. It’s like the more visibility that you get the more you want to build your brand.  Sometimes we fall into a space of censoring ourselves and conforming to what we think people
want to hear, trying to live up to this image that we think people want to see.  And in that you lose that raw creativity. You lose that authenticity, that realness about yourself.  So now I’m struggling to make sure that I am writing just from my heart not censoring myself not worrying about what people will think.  I feel like when people are that open and that real that’s what people are accepting to not some cook cutter, I’m not going to say bad words, I’m not going to try to ruffle feathers.  That’s how people know that’s fake so I’m trying to get back to my real when I was writing when I didn’t worry about what everybody thought.

Kai: So in all the aspects of writing how important is networking?

Monica: Networking is so important; just this morning I had a meeting with someone. It’s very important because you share resources, you get new energy, and you get new ideas, you kind of shake up the patterns that are in your life.  Alot of times people sometimes feel like “Oh, I need to hide my ideas, I shouldn’t share” but it’s by giving that we get. And so it’s you know the whole point of networking with like minded people or even people that are different from you because a lot of times that is what give you the inspiration to write and the ideas to promote that work and fulfill that work as you go.

Kai: So tell me three things that you want your readers to know about you.

Monica: The first one I guess is that most of my writings come from my experiences, that’s not to say that everything is a true story that happened for me but it comes from some emotion or experience and a lot of times it comes from the past. So hopefully, people can know that this stuff while it may be fiction, it’s real and if you’re going through it you’re not alone.  So, I don’t know if that answers your question, that’s one thing about me is that a lot of my stuff comes from real experiences.  The second thing that I really want people to know is that I am very down to earth, silly.  Somebody who’s been a friend now for awhile said that initially when they saw my image they thought that I might be stuffy or stuck up or whatever. As they got to know me they’re like “Oh gosh, you’re really down to earth.” so I want people to know that while I try to create this brand and this image and that goes back to what we talked about earlier; I am very much a human that likes to have fun, that makes mistakes,
that goes through moments.  Even though I try to always keep it positively going that I’m very down to earth. The third thing that I want people to know about me is that I am all about relationships so send me an email; talk to me. I love to help people, that’s what kind of feeds me, I feel like that’s my mission.  Very emotional, I remember being so intimidated by famous Authors because I love to read, I could never send them an email. If I send it to them, they’ll never respond. I might take awhile but always send me a tweet, an email, or whatever the case may be.

Kai: Cool! So for up and coming writers, such as myself; you know Aspiring Authors what would you tell us? What nugget would you give someone like me?

Monica: Never stop. That’s something I told myself whether I’m trying to lose weight or trying to go to school.  I had to apply that to my writing because there will be things along the way that will discourage you.  You might get a bad review or just when you’re doing wonderful somebody has something to say but it’s like remember your passion, remember your purpose, and never stop. Keep going and do what you know is true to your heart. It’s not always about people liking you but about you being true to what your purpose is. If it’s that one life that you change or that one person that can get what you wrote then you are doing your job.

Kai: I’ll take that!

My time is up with Monica but if you’d like to get in contact with her, you can contact her at www.monicamariejones.comor at (The Literary Loft)

Interview by: Kai Mann

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Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk Radio~June 26, 2013

M L LieblerGuess who’s coming to Michigan Literary Network Blog talk radio today? Can’t guess? Well, I’ll tell you! We’ve got the awesome M. L. Liebler! Who is M. L. Liebler you ask? M.L. Leibler is an award-winning poet whose latest book is “Wide Awake in Someone Else’s Dream.” “Wide Awake in Someone Else’s Dream” is a collection of traveling poems written in Russia, Israel, Germany, and China that take the reader on a contemplative journey through both the geography of these countries and their cultures as well as through the inward mind of the narrator. As Liebler travels the world, he wrestles with themes of self-discovery, spirituality, identity, and change, and renders poems in his signature raw and defiant style. Thoughtful and direct, these poems look toward beauty and contemplation in a bitter world that has become fraught with mistrust and misunderstanding.

Want to know more about M. L. Liebler listen in today at 5:30pm. You can also check him out at

wide awake in someone elses dream


Bill HarrisAt 5:45pm we’ve got the talented novelist, poet, professor, critic and a 2011 Kresge Arts in Detroit Eminent Artist fellow; Bill Harris. His latest work is “Booker T. & Them: A Blues.” In “Booker T. & Them: A Blues,” poet and playwright Bill Harris examines what he calls “the age of Booker T.” (1900–1915), when America began flexing its imperialistic muscles, D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation was released, and Thomas Edison’s many technological innovations set the tone for the United States to be viewed as the nation of the century.



You can also learn more about Bill Harris at his website:


Booker T & Them


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Real Men Write~ Torreano Harrison

RMW Torreano Harrison

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Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk Radio~May 29, 2013

J MichaelToday on the Michigan Literary Network blogtalk radio show Sylvia Hubbard will interview J. Michael Collins.  J. Michael is a writer, photographer, and publisher of SSW Magazine. Along with the Motown Writers Network J. Michael will host the June 8th Real Men Write Meet Up. Follow him on Michael Collins, Twitter@sswmag, and




Later at 5:45pm Sylvia will interview Darold Gholston. Darold is a poet, songwriter and fine arts artist. His poetry book is “The Right Word: All Occasion Romantic Verses”

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Real Men Write Feature~Cesar Torreano


I am Caesar Torreano and poetry to me is greatness! Poetry is the friend who never abandoned me; the lover who’s always been faithful and the entity that never judges me for my past discretions. It is the air that I need to heal me, the eyes that I need to see me, and the voice I need to express myself; so I can be heard and so I can hear. If I can make one person feel the joy that I feel – that poetry has brought to me- my life would be more fulfilled. For its existence has made me a better man.

I chose the name “Caesar” because it means King and fearless leader in Greek.

I developed an interest in writing poetry when I was younger but I did not begin my poetic quest until three years ago when I first “spit” at Cliff Belles. Now I am fondly known as “a venue junky” because I enjoy going to two to three venues in one night. I enjoy poetry that much!

I am extremely diverse in my poetic writing. My poetry ranges from social injustices/conscious topics to love and/or erotic. I pride myself in discussing topics/situations or events in my pieces that, as men we never discuss. For that, I believe one poet’s poem can be another person’s moment of clarity. To my credit, I have a poetic album named “The Rise of an Emperor” where I demonstrate my poetic flexibility towards all life’s subjects.

I have been the host of Nandi’s Knowledge Café in Highland Park since 2012. My belief/motto is to provide a poetic haven where all people, regardless of where they come from, can come and perform, express and enjoy poetry in all formats. I want everyone who comes through the door to feel like they matter and are at home.

I have featured, participated and performed in many poetry showcases in the Detroit/Metro area. I have performed in a play for Poetically Speaking Productions and performed at the Jazz Café at Music Hall.

I am a Direct Care worker, father of five beautiful children and repair computers in my spare time.

I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child especially a child of poetry.

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Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk Radio~April 17, 2013

AndiIn an effort to support poetry month, check out Andrea Daniel today at 5:30 on Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk radio as she interviews Charles Madigan. Charles is a poet and coordinates the Oakwood Healthcare Creative Writing Program. Later on at 5:45 Andrea will interview Ann Holdreith another Detroit area poet who facilitates a number of poetry workshops. For more information about Ann check out her website at

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Motown Writers Network Poet Feature~ Alex Jones

As poetry month is coming to an end, but not our love for poetry; we’d like to invite you to meet Alex Jones, another of Detroit’s favorite poets!

Alex Jones holds a B.A. in English from the University of Detroit Mercy, where he won the first place prize in the Dudley Randall Poetry Contest for 2010. He went with a group of students to present their poems at the annual symposium of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Additionally, he has been featured at various open mics around the city of Detroit, including the now-defunct Byte This Poetry Series and the Broadside Press Poets’ Theater. His poems have appeared in Detroit’s *Metro Times* newspaper as well as in *[sic]*, the student literary journal at UDM.

5 Questions with Alex…

What is it like being a poet in Detroit?

Well… let’s break that question down a bit. First: What’s it like being a poet? Being a poet means that you observe. You feel. You take in
everything, distill it to its essence, and then fire it back at people. At least, that’s my take. Detroit is a place that is like a mountain or a
cliffside. It can be absolutely beautiful, but it’s certainly not without its rough edges and pitfalls that can do quite a bit of damage to you if
you’re not careful. It has strong light and dark sides. Being a poet in Detroit, then, means that you’re never without inspiration for too long, I
guess. This is an incredible, unique place. If there isn’t something that can agitate your heart and move your pen here, I’d start checking your

Do you remember the first time that you read one of your poems? If so, what was that like?

I don’t know. I remember the first time I didn’t read one of my poems. It was 6th grade and we had to write a poem for class and the teacher wanted us to read them in front of the class. Well, I wrote mine about a girl that I really liked and I didn’t want to embarrass myself by reading it in front of the class because I was pretty sure she didn’t like me back. I asked him if I could get away with not reading it and he said sure. If I had to guess, the first time I read one of my own poems aloud would have been in my creative writing class freshman year of college. But it must not have left much of an impression if I don’t recall it clearly.

If you could have lunch with any poet in the world dear or alive, who would it be?

Shakespeare. I don’t know how much people realize this, but he added tons of words to the language that just completely didn’t exist before. I want to see what it took to do that. I want to see what kind of man could do that. That sort of fiercely creative spirit might be something that we
should all strive toward. Not that we need to make more words, I mean, but that we should all strive to create something that has a lasting impact. It’d be nice to get tips from the master on that.

What is your favorite type of poetry?

My favorite type of poetry is the poetry that makes you feel something intensely, whether it’s overwhelming unease from a poem that does an
incredible job of painting a picture, a narrative poem that makes me want to march in the streets, or a poem that manages to almost make me pee myself from laughing so hard. As long as it makes me feel something strongly, I like it. Ideally, it’d be well-crafted in addition to being

What inspires you to write poetry?

There’s a line from the Dudley Randall poem “A Poet is Not a Jukebox” that pretty much summarizes it for me. It’s “A poet writes about what he feels, what agitates his heart and sets his pen in motion.” It explains why some days, even though I don’t want to think about certain old relationships anymore, all I can do is scribble about them. Or why no matter how much I try to temper my temper when it comes to certain things, all I can write is anger. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t try to corral their writing when it comes time to refine or edit, though. But those moments where you just have to pick up a pen and put it to paper or else you won’t be able to get to sleep? That’s what the quote is for me. That’s usually what gets me writing.



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Motown Writers Poet Spotlight~ Dimonique Boyd

Dimonique Boyd

“I wish I could disappear into a fine mist, but if I did, someone would probably choke on me.”  The day she uttered this statement in a casual conversation, Dimonique Boyd became fully aware that she…is…a poet.

A daughter of the Café Mahogany days, Dimonique experienced a rebirth in poetry when she became a regular at EchoVerse Poetry and Slam Series in 2007.  She has had featured appearances at the Blushing Sky Honors Series, The Beat Café, Sweet Epiphany,and the Detroit Public Library, among many other venues and shows.
By popular demand, she self-published and released her first volume of poetry, “This is How I Feel: My Life in Verse.”  Her book chronicles her life’s journey from ages fourteen to thirty. Though best known for her love and erotic poems, her writing delves into the socio-political, religious, and Hip-Hop realms.  An admitted Confessional Poet, most of her poems are short glimpses into pieces of her life.  She sees her poetry as both an outlet and an outreach.  She is unafraid to give the most personal parts of herself to her audience because she feels that it’s important to be a voice for who fear that they’re alone or don’t have the words to express how they feel.  No matter the subject of her prose, the focus is always humanity.  We love, we hurt, we cry, we lust, we sin, and she pours it all on the page and the stage to achieve oneness with her audience.
Her second volume of poetry, “Queen of Heart” follows the design of a deck of cards and is written in two parts-Court and Suites. From Ace to “Dimons,” or God to Self, Dimonique offers the full range of her versatility as a writer.

Questions with Dimonique…

Describe what you believe is the purpose of your poetry?

My poetry is for personal self-expression and release, as well as for the expression and release of others.  I write for myself, but I share as a means of giving others someone to relate to. I don’t mind giving the most personal parts of myself because it’s more important to me that someone who feels alone knows that they are not.  I write to heal, change, save lives-even my own.
When you heard your first poem how did it make you feel?

I really can’t remember hearing my first poem.  I grew up as a fan of music and drama.  I’d been exposed to poetry in elementary school. The first poem I learned was “Dreams” by Langston Hughes, which didn’t mean anything to me until I got much older.  I wrote poetry as class assignments through middle school, and I even wrote raps as a kid, but I really didn’t get into and saved by poetry until high school.

Who are some of your favorite poets?

My first favorite poets were Khari Kimani Turner and LaShaun Phoenix Kotaran (then Moore). Some of my more current favorites are Jeff Nelson, Clarity, Rhonda Welsh, UNtitled, and my newest favorite is Andrea Daniel.
What inspires you to write poetry?
What is your favorite poem? (It could be one of your own or someone elses)

My favorite poem is probably still “1999” by Khari Kimani Turner.  I wish more men and boys could be exposed to it today.


Dimonique’s Favorite Poetry Quote:  “I love you in melodies too heartbreaking to play…” This Is How I Feel: My Life in Verse, “I Love You in Hushed Tones”

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Poet Spotlight~ Natasha Miller

Natasha Miller is the voice of wounds exposed, and the healing balm of poetry applied to the human spirit. The passionate 26 year-old Detroit, MI native is a writer, performance poet, author, publisher dedicated activist, producer, actress and an aspiring motivational speaker. Since her debut, just over four years ago, Natasha has proven to be a poetical powerhouse. After one year on the performance circuit, in 2007, she was crowned Detroit Poetry Slam team’s Grand Slam Champion, and has been a member of four National Poetry Slam teams. She has also been a Women of The World Poetry Slam top five finalist three out of the last four years once ranking as high as the third female slam poet in the World. Natasha continued her impressive record by leading and coaching her own slam team to a championship at the 2010 Midwest Rustbelt Poetry Slam, where she also came out ranking #2 overall in the individual competition.

 Natasha has awed audiences across the country at universities, festivals and numerous venues including slams and shows like the famous Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, Vancouver Poetry slam, Seattle poetry slam, Girl Fest Hawaii and Chicago’s Green Mill. She has premiered on stages with celebrity actors and comedians Oscar award winning Mo’nique, Star of the movie “Paper Hearts” Charlyne Yi, Brandon T. Jackson, actor Malcolm Jamal Warner, legendary poet Jessica Care Moore, hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, and many more. Mo’Nique, impressed, personally invited Natasha to feature on her radio show.  In 2010, she starred in a national commercial campaign for Sprite. In the same year, she released her solo spoken word album “Poetry for Change,” and featured in the stage play “The Revolution’s In The Ladies Room” produced by Jessica care Moore.

Natasha is currently ranked as the number 5 female slam poet in the World. She now produces the popular “Its Not About You” Poetry Slam Series. Recently she started her own publishing company “All I Wanna Say Publishing”, in 2010 she published her first book of quotes “Dreams Of A Beginner”, and in 2011 she published her second book “Coming Out of Nowhere” a Social Networking Memoir that allows readers to mentally and emotionally “log-in” to their favorite websites (Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube) and view the opinions of others on love, hate, suicide, tragedy, politics, religion, cyber-bullying, entertainment, mental illness, freedom of choice, homophobia, and all other things surrounding homosexuality by simply turning a page. She is currently working with popular video director Erica D Hayes on a documentary that focuses on prostitution and placement in the transgendered community. Natasha uses her words to enlighten, create equality, imbue life, and most importantly spread love and peace in the tradition of great leaders before her.

Questions with Natasha…

How old where you when you wrote your first poem? Do you remember what it was about?

I don’t remember what age I was exactly when I wrote my first poem. I think I was in high school, maybe 10th or 11th grade but I was not performing poetry at the time. I was 20 when I wrote my first performance poem it was titled “Black vs Black” and it was about black on black crime.

If you had to describe your poetry how would you describe it?

Forgiving. Fun. To the point. Vulnerable. Relatable. Not too up there, not too down there but exactly where I need it to be to reach who I need it to reach.

What is your favorite poem that you wrote? why?

My favorite piece varies from performance to performance. It all depends on what I had the most fun performing that night or that day. I write all of my poems with the same amount of sincerity and confidence so I can’t pick a favorite because they all contain the same amount of love…To me picking a favorite poem is much like picking a favorite child, I just can’t do it.

Who are some of your favorite poets?

Mahogany Browne, William Evans, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudy Francisco, Andrea Gibson, David Blair, Jamal “Versiz” May, Sierra Demulder and plenty more. I love slam and performance poets so I named a few.

What inspires you to write poetry?

My strong desire for peace inspires me to write poetry.

Kai Mann

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