The Memphis Poetry Slam Team better known as The P.E.O.P.L.E. (Poets Embodying Only Perfected Live Entertainment) needs your help to send six amazing local poets to the Southern Fried Poetry Slam this June in Greenville, S.C.!
Our journeys have all come together to take Memphis back to a place where we have not gone in over a decade. We as a collective decided that we would join together to combat illiteracy through poetry. Now, the time is here! We are rehearsing, spending time away from families, editing our poems and preparing them to get ready for the regional stage. We are so excited to represent Memphis – the home of the blues – in South Carolina, but we need help to raise the money to get there before we have the blues.
Spoken word poetry is one of many branches of the ancient oral tradition. Young and old alike are empowered to speak their own truths and also learn to listen to what other people are trying to convey. That is true communication and unity, which for The P.E.O.P.L.E. equates to Community. This idea of community drives us to want to develop a blueprint for younger poets in Memphis to go and compete in various competitions. Yes, competing on a national scale is a wonderful endeavor, but our ultimate goal is to represent our city in a positive light and show the world that Memphis is still a viable factor in the art of poetry today.
The P.E.O.P.L.E. slam team is led by the slam master: Timothy "Urban Thoughts" Moore, who is the Founder of Speak LIFE Society and the low-level literacy educator at The Soulsville Charter School. Timothy has sought to return a team to The Southern Fried Poetry Regional Slam in an attempt to bring Memphis back to the national scene. As the 2013-2014 Stone Awards Mtenzi Spoken Word Artist of the Year, he was saddened that year after year Memphis did not yield a team. He decided to seek out kindred artists who wanted to compete and over time, a team was formed.
The P.E.O.P.L.E. is comprised of the following spoken word artists:
Aisha Raison is a national poetess who competed and excelled at the 2013 Southern Fried Slam with stunning scores of over 28 points. Aisha agreed to become the first member of the team. She has been featured all over the nation in some of the most highlighted poetry moments, most recently, the re-opening of the National Civil Rights Museum.
Elliott "Hardface" Nelson is one of the most dynamic poets in the country. Elliott is the "King of Cometry," which is a blend of comedy and socio-political poetry. Truly a master of performance and skill, Hardface electrifies and stuns the crowd.
Erica "Arekah da Goddess" Dunlap is a powerful being of immense light, which she focuses through frames of poetry and photography. She is a powerhouse of performance and art.
Carin "Writeous Soul" Malone is an inspirational poetess, who is a three-time poetry slam winner. She embodies both grace and lyrical punch lines.
Emerald "LoveJones" Liggins is the president and fellow Speak LIFE Society member. She is an extraordinary example of cultural awareness and womanist theory.
The P.E.O.P.L.E. is supported by poetess Tundrea Lyons, who controls all administrative duties and by Dr. Ernest Gibson III, who serves as a mentor coach to the team.
Attending Southern Fried Slam is about more than mere competition. Though it will be exciting to go head-to-head with other poets and showcase the content of the writing that we are so proud of, Southern Fried is about the journey. We are a diverse group of fathers, mothers, broken homes, lost friends, rookie competitors, religions, backgrounds and lifestyles. What is absolutely special is that this journey has bonded us to the art. This is an opportunity to be exposed to all kinds of poets, new ways of expressing ourselves, and to see if we can conquer the stage. We will come home even more excited about this art form and its possibilities to share with the next generation of slam poets. Our ultimate goal is to start a legacy and true revitalization of the slam scene in Memphis.
The main expenses for our trip are registration, transportation and lodging. Registration has been paid for out of our own pockets. We are also covering our meals, pooling our resources for practice space and travel. We are working individuals who understand the value of the dollar.
Your contribution to the campaign will go directly to expenses for travel and lodging and will open the way for us to reach the goal we've worked toward since our inception, which is the development of literacy through poetry for the youth of Memphis. With the support of Memphis, we aim to show that Memphis never stopped "doing poetry," we were just rehearsing.
Make all donations at IndieGOGO: http://igg.me/p/739820/x/6970676 for cool prizes or to find out more information in regards to local fundraising performances and our mission to enlighten and encourage the youth of Memphis.