Thursday, July 30, 2020, 5pm Pacific
Power to the Poets: Vote for Change
Hosts: Aileen Cassinetto, Tony Robles & Poetess April J. Armstrong
Featuring (in order of appearance):
Bethlehem and Sad Patrick combine soul, jazz, folk, vocals, guitar and percussion to deliver powerful songs on universal themes — the struggles of modern society, life in the city, and love and heartbreak. The Philadelphia duo has released “Did You Ever Do?”, a polished set showcasing their skills in the studio realm.
Harini Krishnan is the Joe Biden District Delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, the California Democratic Party’s 22nd AD Delegate, a Town of Hillsborough 2020 Citizen of the year Award Recipient, a FUND HER Board Member, an Equal Access International Board Member & Chair of Fund Development Committee. Harini is also an Indian Classical Vocalist & Lecturer, a Harvard Kennedy School Public Leadership Program Candidate as well as Vice Chair of the San Mateo County Arts Commission.
John Wesley Shipp is an award-winning actor, director and political activist. He is known for The Flash, Dawson’s Creek and NYPD Blue. He is currently based in New York.
Karen Bryant Shipp is a singer, organist, and choral director who works as Minister of Music at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA, a progressive Baptist church where she is given the freedom to explore not only all kinds of music, but other religions and ideas. Karen was ordained at Oakhurst in November 2010. She is a political activist who comes from a family of civil rights activists.
James Cagney is a poet from Oakland. He is a Cave Canem Fellow and VONA alum, both programs that foster Black writers. He has performed in venues and museums throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. His first book, Black Steel Magnolias In The Hour of Chaos Theory, is out now by Nomadic Press.
Kai Coggin is a poet, author, and teaching artist living in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, AR. She is the author of three full-length collections, PERISCOPE HEART, WINGSPAN, and INCANDESCENT, as well as a spoken word album called SILHOUETTE. Her poetry has been nominated three times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Kai is a Teaching Artist with the Arkansas Arts Council and Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, and is also the host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country, Wednesday Night Poetry.
Indigo Moor is an educator, scriptwriter, award-winning author, and former Poet Laureate of Sacramento. His full-length play “Live! at the Excelsior” was a finalist for the Images Theatre Playwright Award and has been optioned for a film. His latest poetry collection, Everybody’s Jonesin’ for Something (The Backwater Prize in Poetry Honorable Mention Series), is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press in March 2021. Indigo spends his days cleverly disguised as a mild-mannered Physical Design Engineer for computer companies.
Tony Robles, “The People’s Poet,” was born in San Francisco and currently resides in Hendersonville, NC, where he is the Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence. A San Francisco Art Commission Individual Artist Grantee, he was short-list nominated for poet laureate of San Francisco in 2017 and was a Pushcart Prize nominee in 2011. Tony is currently Assistant Publisher at The Cheerful Word.
Raymond Tyler is an Atlantic City-based broadcaster, artist, and producer. He hosts The Saturday Night Mix Tape on FM 91.7 WLFR and The Atlantic City Beat.com on FM 96.1 WTTH. He has worked as a columnist for The Shore Weekly and as a graphic artist/cartoonist for Essence, Vibe and The Source magazines, New York Press and The Philadelphia Weekly. Ray is the founder of The Arts and Media Think Tank and co-owner of The Little Wellness Arts Center and Gallery.
Poetess April J. Armstrong is a South Carolina-based poet, voice-over narrator, and entrepreneur. The author of the poetry collection, A Glass Mirror, April is also the radio/TV host of “Your Oral Diktion” at Black Love Poetry Series.
Hailing from the Bronx in New York, Timothy Proctor was born on January 16,1973. “Mr. Wispers” was a childhood nickname turned pen name when he picked up the artful skill of writing short stories and raps at age 12. Timothy began ghostwriting at 16 and eventually, became a ghostwriter of poetry to well known actors and actresses in Hollywood, CA. He also began honing his poetic skills as a performing artist at the world-renowned Nuyurican. Mr. Wispers is currently whispering yet another poetry album entitled Genesis 1:16. Go look that up, his goal is to be a star.
Tynea Smith is the CEO and founder of the Still Breathing Movement Inc., curator of the Cup of Tee segment and new radio host on the Black Love Poetry Network. Writing since the age of 11 with poetry featured in various anthologies, she has shared the stage with some of the best spoken word artists, under the pseudonym, Prophetic Poet. She now goes by Queen T. She is determined to give life and bring healing with her words as long as God will allow her pen to drop ink.
Lydia Cook also recognized as BornToWrite the Poet is an award-winning spoken word poet, author and inspirational speaker. Her mission and calling is to empower, encourage, and inspire diverse audiences globally. Cook has self published two books to date and her work is featured in five anthologies and in Tennessee and Ohio public libraries. In 2015, Lydia became “Toastmaster Cook,” earning her Competent Communicator Certification from Toastmaster International. Cook is currently an up and coming blog talk radio host with Black Love Poetry Series Network. On the BornToWrite Variety Show, Lydia interviews, and presents her written works “poetic, radio dramas” (mini skits).
Aquil Ali is a proud father of five daughters, one son, and five grands. He is a 30 year veteran of poetry and radio, CEO/Founder of Black Love Poetry Series, host of The Aquil Ali Show with April J., and Honorable Judge Aquil Ali on Hip Hop Court. Owner of Tri-State Dental Lab, in business now for over 50 years, he is also the author of Grindstone 4 Life and Memoirs of a 3x Ex-husband. Currently, Aquil is working on the next Black Love Poetry Series Network endeavors, including getting back into the studios at PeopleTV 24 Channel in Atlanta.
Emunah The Poetess is a wife and mother of 2 and loves all forms of writing, but takes a special interest in poetry. She hopes to become a published author one day and has surpassed her goal of writing 1000 poems.
Elijah Pringle III is a Philadelphia poet, lyric baritone, composer, actor, and artivist. He is the author of At the Cornerstone, Feeding the Sparrow, and Second Saturday at Serenity, and has appeared on radio, TV & stage. He has been quoted in print in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Daily News, and others. He credits his true education to five generations of teachers.
POWER TO THE POETS is a live reading series curated by Aileen Cassinetto. We’ll be broadcasting live on this event page. Video will appear as a post under the Discussion tab. The reading will be archived here.