Monday, March 13
6:30pm Readings + Discussion
FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.
NYC-based spoken word artists address the drastic changes that have recently impacted our political landscape. Confirmed poets include Advocate of Wordz, Jennifer Falu, Shanelle Gabriel, Jaime Lee Lewis, Saroya Marsh, and Pamela Sneed.
Over the last 40 years, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has served as a home for groundbreaking works of poetry, music, theatre and visual arts. The Cafe champions the use of poetry, jazz, theater, hip-hop, and spoken word as means of social empowerment for minority and underprivileged artists. Allen Ginsberg called the Cafe “the most integrated place on the planet.” Curated by Daniel Gallant in collaboration with Frank Hentschker.
Erik “Advocate Of Wordz” Maldonado is an award winning performing poet, published author, and teaching artist who has been honing his craft for fifteen years. He is a recipient of the 2014 BRIO Award, and has worked out of legendary performance venues such as Lincoln Center and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. His work has been featured and/or covered by many major publications including PBS, LA Times, Fox News, Univision and CNN. Wordz has toured many notable establishments such as Princeton University, Roseland Ballroom (Broadway), and Georgetown University to name a few. His book “Advocate Of Wordz; a book of poems and other creative nonsense that is imperative to your existence” can be found on Amazon and is also available at all his live performances.
Jennifer Falu recently won first place in NBC-TV’s Amiri Baraka Poetry Slam and was ranked third internationally in the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She has been a member of the 2006, 2009 and 2012 Nuyorican Poets Cafe Slam Teams, won the national Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2006, and ranked 3rd in the WOWPS in both 2009 and 2012. As a performer, Falu has shared the stage with Jennifer Holliday, Carl Thomas and Patti LaBelle. She recently made her film debut in Mania Days, alongside Katie Holmes.
Shanelle Gabriel is a singer, poet, and powerful advocate for lupus. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Shanelle is widely known for both opening and featuring on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam alongside Jill Scott and DMX, and has shared the stage with artists such as Eric Benet, Talib Kweli, Nas, and more. Shanelle was spotlighted on the Rachael Ray Show, HuffPost Live, in a promo for the NFL Draft, in Women’s Health Magazine, and narrated Jennifer Hudson’s “I Got This” audiobook biography. She is presently the Program Director at Urban Word NYC, facilitates the North Brooklyn Lupus Support Group, and continues to perform throughout the US and abroad. For more information, visit www.shanellegabriel.com
Roya Marsh is the poet/author of the chapbooks Not All of Me Shall Die, Pieces, Vol. I & II and 26. She works as a preschool teacher and youth mentor, but has always had a passion for writing. Roya was a finalist in the 2013 Poetry Idol, 2013 Inspired Word Slam Master Jam Champion, 2014 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion and captain of the first all- female slam team in the tri-state area, representing Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She has recently been ranked second in the world at the Woman of the World Poetry Slam. She has been featured in the Village Voice, Huffington Post, Blavity, Button Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital and at many venues and colleges around the country.
Pamela Sneed is a New York based poet, writer and actress. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Out, Bomb, VIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. In 2015, she appeared in Art Forum, Black Book and The Huffington Post. She hosted Queer Art Film at the IFC in New York City. She is author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery, published by Henry Holt in April 1998, KONG & other works, published by Vintage Entity Press (2009) and a chapbook Lincoln (2014). In 2015, she published the Chaplet Gift with Belladonna. She has performed for sold out houses at Lincoln Center, PS122, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, The ICA London, The CCA in Glasgow Scotland, The Green Room in Manchester England, BAM Cafe, Joes Pub, The Public Theater, Central Park Summer Stage, Bronx Summer Stage,Columbia University’s Tribute to James Baldwin, The Whitney Museum, BRIC and recently curated and performed in All Black/An Invitation at Danspace; Platforms. In 2016, she was also a presenter for Zoe Leonard’s event, “I Want a President” at the Highline. She appears in Nikki Giovanni’s, The One Hundred Best African American Poems. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence as a guest faculty member and is an online Professor at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute teaching the courses Human Rights and Writing Art. She was a mentor/consultant for the Poet-Linc program at Lincoln Center and directed a final show at Lincoln Center Atrium in 2016. She has recently presented at a symposium at NYU on Humor, Politics and the AIDS crisis. In summer 2016, she received a residency at Denniston Hill and was an SAIC Visiting Artist in the MFA low residency program. She is completing a collection of short stories Anna Mae/For Me, Tina Turner and All Black Women Survivors, and has a forthcoming chapbook Sweet Dreams with Belladonna, February 2017.
Daniel Gallant is the Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the author of the short story collection Determined to Prove, and the recipient of a 2016 Eisenhower Fellowship. He is also a poet, playwright, theatrical producer, actor and teacher. His writing has appeared in eight anthologies from Vintage Books, Applause/Hal Leonard and Theater Communications Group. Daniel previously served as the Director of Theater and Talk Programming at the 92nd Street Y’s Makor and Tribeca centers. As an Eisenhower Fellow, he has explored how cultural organizations in Spain and Japan use innovative program and funding models to expand arts engagement. Daniel also advises cultural organizations in the United States about how to use game theory and social media to broaden their impact. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Crain’s New York, the Daily News, New York Post, Time Out New York, New York Magazine and Voice of America; and on MTV, CNN NBC, NY1, CBS, NPR, Univision, the BBC and other networks. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Gallant has exploited expanding social-media tools to grow the cafe from a small, volunteer-led venue best known for weekly poetry events to a thriving arts center with partnerships across the city.”