Posts tagged press
Posts tagged press
Toronto, see you so soon!
hey toronto :)
Carvens Lissaint , Zora Howard, and I will be performing at NYU BSU’s Homecoming Poetry Event Sunday, Nov 10th 4:30pm-7pm in Kimmel Rm 914 :)
SAFIA ELHILLO was born into a family that loved words, so really, she had no choice but to fall in love with them herself. Sudanese, by way of Washington, DC, by way of Cairo, Egypt, Safia has been exposed to the many forms of spoken word, using those experiences to craft her own voice. We chatted with the 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist about coaching youth slam teams, the state of spoken word across the globe, and why her poem “Egypt” literally hit home.
To learn more about Safia’s journey, take a look, then log on to Luxury Awaits and read the rest of the article.
If this week’s episode of Verses and Flow were to be described with one word, that would be it. It’s the best word, after a night of poets using the best of their vocabulary to express feelings for loved ones, whether they were painful, celebratory or longing. It’s the best way to describe the performances by Chas Jackson, IN-Q and Safia Elhillo, who, along with the incredible Faith Evans, gave us their absolute best. Unconditionally.
Bay area native Chas Jackson led off the show, breaking hearts while breaking down his complicated relationship with a mother that made a few bad decisions. His poem, “I Will Accept The Charges,” is a child’s worst nightmare come true, as he explains: “There are two things in this world that should never happen. One, a parent should never have to bury their own child. Two, a child should never have to visit their parent behind bars.”
Jackson, the former cast member of the EMMY-winning reality show “Black.White” expounded on a very different reality, stating that “it is unimaginable not knowing the next time you’ll embrace. It is unbearable to communicate behind a glass barrier. It is unsightly to see your mother, hair braided in two French braids, dressed in a tan jumpsuit. ” Yet, his love remains pure. “Mom, if you have forgotten everything I previously said to you,” he makes clear, “always remember this: Though you did what they say you did, you are not who they say you are.”
If that poem broke your heart, the poem that followed was designed to make it dance. Appearing for the second time on the Verses and Flow stage was Los Angeles native and show favorite IN-Q, whose poem “85,” an ode to a love of a lifetime, was perfect in its pitch and performance. It’s about a couple that’s grown old together, and are better together. Blissful together.
"When I first saw her, I was totally in awe," the poem proclaimed. "She was classical, so I was like Yo, Yo, Ma. And that was all it took, a single look and I was shook. I fell for her like some loose shingles from a Spanish roof. And I’ma love her til she loses every last root…"
Those types of memories are literally something foreign to Safia Elhillo. The young poet, from Khartoum, Sudan, by way of Cairo, Egypt, by way of Washington, DC, remembered a time when all she could do was pray for loved ones that were a continent away. Her poem, “Egypt,” was deep. In fact, according to the Slam NYU champion, “this is not a poem. This is my mother. My brother. I’ve spent my whole life experiencing bloodshed in theory, from a comfortable desk an ocean away without a face to put to the loss… An abstract mass of brown and bone and air that isn’t abstract anymore. I don’t know where my mother is. I don’t know if my brother is alive.”
The Egypt she never had to experience, a country where she would have spent “adolescence in a police state, women beaten in the street for wearing pants in public, and allowing their wild curls to creep out,” is the same place that still causes her concern. It’s that unconditional love and concern for family that fills her heart, even as Brooklyn, Jazz and boys fill her days.
A brilliant piece from a brilliant young artist.
Evans, lending the show her talents in between roles as executive producer of R&B Divas and its sister show R&B Divas: LA, singer (her new album should be ready by spring 2014), and her most important role as mother of three, gave two incredible performances (“Tears of Joy”, “Mesmerized”) to balance out an emotionally draining show.
We’re halfway through Verses and Flow 3.0. What have been some of your favorite performances of the season thus far? Let us know on Twitter by using the hashtag #VersesandFlow. Next week, we’re serving up some LA flair, some Louisiana spice, and a just the right amount of New York flavor. Also, a very welcome blast from the past. Six episodes done. Six more to come. Get. Ready.
Engineered by Lexus, “Verses & Flow ” is a unique series created to bring you the freshest up and coming talent in spoken word and music.
Two videos from Verses and Flow last night!
Issue 2 (Volume 2) of As/Us literary magazine is now available on Amazon! my poems, what i learned in the fire and susie knuckles in love are in there, and i am the giggliest and gratefulest :)
in the New York Times representing the NYC Five Hundred :)
Come write out all your feelings with us tomorrow night & get moved by some poems. We’ll be honoring Trayvon, each other, our spirits, hearts, voices and getting it all on paper & into the air.
I was blessed enough to encounter Safia Elhillo and her work many moons ago (so many that MySpace was something people still used back then). In the last five years of coming across her powerful poetics and laying witness to some of the most moving performances i’ve ever seen,…
my poems “susie knuckles in love” and “what i learned in the fire” are in the latest issue of As Us literary journal :)
Wednesday! GUYS IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE WILL BE THERE brb while I hyperventilate
AND I AM FREAKING OUT.
YOU SHOULD COME HANG OUT.