30 Over 30: Poet's Edition

30 Over 30: Poet's Edition

30 poets over 30 years old: our founding family.
27
views

Oftentimes, especially in the age of digital technology and YouTube fame, the poets who gave us our start are often forgotten or left out.This article is inspired by the founders of the poetry community. The folks that sometimes get overlooked in the push for the newest, the hippest, the youngest of the bunch. I've written a few articles now focusing largely on younger poets, so I wanted to write this for the poets who are a constant source of inspiration. So, this thread is dedicated to the poets who have been there, served their time, done work for years and years, and are absolutely sensational. This is dedicated to the poets who are inspirations and legends. I could have added 30 more onto this list and still it wouldn't be enough to cover all of the incredible poets. So, as always, feel free to add your favorites in the comments section below!

1. Suzi Q. Smith


(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Suzi Q. is a beast poet who blows my mind at whatever she sets her mind to. I got to witness her run the National Poetry Slam last August and this woman did it all phenomenally.

2. Buddy Wakefield


(Video Credit: SpeakeasyNYC)

Buddy Wakefield is the definition of brilliant. Buddy performs like he is just having a conversation with a thousand people at once and talks to each and every person in the audience individually.

3. Marc Smith


(Video Credit: Media Burn Archive)

Marc Smith (So what?) is the founder of slam poetry and that just about sums up his brilliance. He started this great craze that has swept not only the nation, but the entire planet.

4. Jesse Parent


(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Jesse Parent is one of the coolest poets I've ever met. His awesomeness is unprecedented and his talent for both comedy and poetry is beyond anything I had ever experienced.

5. Patricia Smith


(Video Credit: Urbanrenewalprogram)

Patricia Smith is one of the "founders" of slam poetry, in my mind. Phenomenal and exquisite are only two words to describe Patricia's poetry.

6. Beau Sia


(Video Credit: Spoken Poetry TV)

Beau Sia is not only one of the best dressed poets, known for tie-dye outfits, but is also one of the funniest poets out there. They are a pro at being dead serious at being hilarious.

7. Andrea Gibson


(Video Credit: Sofar Sounds)

Andrea Gibson is an inspiration to poets everywhere. They are known for their activism and their poetry continues to touch hearts everywhere.

8. Stefan Gambrell


(Video Credit: Wise Words Festival)

I met Stefan Gambrell on my trip to England last fall and he is such a sweetheart. He is a hard worker and he never lets the world get him down. I had the pleasure of beating him and being beaten by him in several poetry slams last year.

9. Christopher Michael


(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Christopher Michael is a great poet, but is also incredibly friendly to everyone he meets. His personality in and outside of his poetry is part of the charm.

10. Rachel Wiley


(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Rachel Wiley is everything great about poetry and everything I aspire to. She is exceptionally fierce and brave in every poem she performs.

11. Christian Drake


(Video Credit: Vancouver Poetry Slam)

I am fortunate enough to have Christian Drake in my poetry community in Northampton, MA. His poise and ease in performance, whether the poem is brand new or a decade old continues to blow my mind.

12. Marty McConnell


(Video Credit: Spoken Poetry TV)

In just about every article I write about favorite poets, Marty is in them. Marty McConnell was my inspiration at Nationals last year and continues to inspire me any time I read or watch her poetry.

13. Sage Francis


(Video Credit: Epitaph Records)

Sage Francis is a god amongst men. He is the king of rhyme, of puns, of clever and witty lines. I could listen to his performances over and over and over and still, I would learn more and more.

14. Richard Siken

Richard Siken is definitely not a "slam poet," but at least 3 contemporary, younger poets have referred me to his work. Upon reading his work, there is no question as to why and how he is able to inspire so many.

15. Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib


(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib just hosted Rustbelt Regionals in Columbus, Ohio. Hanif is everything and more when it comes to poetry. Hanif is pretty famous. There is nothing but love for him.

16. Ryk McIntyre


(Video Credit: Kent Thompson)

Ryk McIntyre is one of those veteran poets who continues to inspire the poetry community often. Ryk is a staple in the realm of poetry and only continues to encourage and help the new generation of poets.

17. Zeke Russell


(Video Credit: Chad Parenteau)

I had the pleasure of watching Zeke Russell in Cantab Slam Team Finals this past March and I continue to be impressed by his work and his personality. He is extremely welcoming and one incredible poet.

18. Sarah Frances Moran


(Video Credit: Sarah Frances Moran)

Sarah Frances Moran is one of my poetry editor/writer/publisher soul mates. Between her work at Yellow Chair Review and her incredible growth in performance, there's so much to love.

19. Gayle Danley


(Video Credit: Young Audiences Maryland)

Gayle Danley has been performing poetry for as long as I can remember and still does incredible work every single time. She is a professional in every sense of the word.

20. Paulie Lipman


(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Paulie Lipman is unique in so many ways. That uniqueness does not stop with multicolored hair, but extends through the poetry itself.

21. Regie Gibson


(Video Credit: We Are CSW)

Regie Gibson is ALL class, ALL rhythm, ALL musicality. The music that Regie creates from his body and his poetry is nothing short of spectacular.

22. Adam Grabowski



(Sound Credit: Voicemail Poems)

Adam Grabowski is another member of the Northampton MA community and I have had the extreme honor of being in a poetry workshop with Adam. There is nothing-- I repeat, nothing-- like an Adam poem. It is exquisite and condensed and fantastic.

23. Billy Tuggle


(Video Credit: All Def Poetry)

I adore Billy Tuggle. Not only is he so supportive of poets writing about the poetry community, but he is one incredibly talented poet himself. Billy makes magic come alive onstage.

24. Shane Koyczan


(Video Credit: Shane Koyczan)

Shane Koyczan is one of those major poet crushes that I can't seem to get over. He's written some of my favorite poetic lines in the English language. My heart can't stop pounding in my chest when I hear his remarkable poetry.

25. Dominique Christina


(Video Credit: SlamFind)

A member of Sister Outsider, Dominique Christina is all attitude and spunk, all woman, all powerful. Getting the chance to sit in the front row and see her wreck the mic was an experience, not just a performance.

26. Alex Charalambides


(Video Credit: Worcester Poets' Asylum)

Alex Charalambides comes from our close neighboring town of Worcester, MA and hosts poetry events out there. Apparently there are snacks, quizzes, goofy moments, and fun times. Not to mention Alex's incredible poetry.

27. Eirean Bradley


(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Eirean Bradley was first introduced to me through someone covering his work. Then I watched the original poem. Then I learned he was the editor of Drunk in a Midnight Choir. Then I realized he lived in my state. All of this to say, he's a phenomenal poet and contributes to the poetry community in extraordinary ways.

28. Jeanann Verlee


(Video Credit: Robotsonparade)

Jeanann Verlee got me through my teenage years. She got me through breakups. She got me through love and loss. When poetry becomes a catalyst for healing and change, that speaks to its power. Jeanann's poetry is power.

29. Jared Paul


(Video Credit: Jared Paul)

Jared Paul is one of the most interesting poets I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. There is so much I could say about Jared. He does spoken word. He is an activist. He is outspoken and awesome. I've seen other poets rep his merchandise at their features.

30. Saul Williams


(Video Credit: Saul Williams Vevo)

If you don't fall in love with Saul Williams work, his books, his poetry, his sound-- Then give him a second or third or fourth listen. There is only brilliance in his poetry.

Cover Image Credit: Poetry Slam Inc

Popular Right Now

18 Ways The Disney College Program Destroys You

"I can only hope we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse" - Walt Disney
27405
views

The Disney College Program, three little words that may or may not forever change your perspective of the world. Working for Disney has been my dream since I was a little kid. That’s all I ever wanted to do with my life-- to become a part of the magic. It wasn’t just because it’s Disney World, the most magical place on Earth. It's because I truly admire everything that this company stands for. Disney is all about bringing families and friends together, creating memories that will last a lifetime and sprinkling a little pixie dust over this magical place that I’ve called home for eleven months. I knew all of this when I received that “Congratulations!” email. Excitement rushed through my veins . The world of possibilities had finally opened its door for me. What I didn’t know, was what those possibilities truly meant, until post DCP depression kicked in. It's a real thing my friends.

1. You are always going to be an extremely friendly and approachable person.

No matter where you are or who you are talking to, you can't help to smile. You always carry a welcoming vibe with you, no matter what situation you are placed in. Working for Disney taught you how to have the patience of a Saint when it comes to dealing with people. You learned that the best way to communicate is listening to everyone with an open mind, even if they’re screaming in your face about Test Track being out of FastPasses.

2. You are constantly finding hidden Mickeys in the real world.

Admit it, your mind creates hidden Mickeys out of almost every random three circle formation. You can’t help it. You have Disney on your mind all the time.

3. You are FULL of Disney Park fun facts.

Did you know that there are 11,324 triangles that make up Spaceship Earth?!

You love sharing your vast pool of knowledge of random Disney Park fun facts. Sometimes even when people don't care about it, you just have to talk about all the things you learned as a CP.

4. You also may speak ride spiel.

“We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it"- Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

When you work for Disney, you live and breath Disney. You couldn't even count how many times you've been to the park, even just to hub grass and chill or ride the People Mover four times in a row. Those spiels were a part of your everyday life. You know when you are riding Hunted Mansion with a boatload of cast members when everyone in the stretch room whispers, "I am your host, your ghost host". Going to the park almost every day is a part of CP culture. Accidentally referring to ride spells still sometimes slips into your daily conversation. Did you really do the college program if you don't know at least one ride spiel?

5. You constantly feel the need to get down the small child's level and talk to them about their favorite Disney characters.

"Hi Princess! My, you look dashing today, what Kingdom did you travel from?!"

What you would do to get back to the days when you were paid to sit on the ground to talk to a child dressed up as Cinderella. You see a child at your real world job and you feel the need to ask them about the about their favorite Disney movie. You catch yourself accidentally referring to people as princess in the real world, but it instated of the magic it used to produce, they look at you like you’re a crazy person. *sigh*

6. If your friends hear you say, ”So this one time in Disney…" one more time they may punch you in the face.

OMG-- this reminds me of this one time in Disney when...*insert story of an amazing day you and your Disney fam had here.*

You can’t help it, every single day was filled with an adventure during your CP. You want to share your stories with everyone you encounter. It's like word vomit. The second something reminds you of your CP there is no stopping you. Your friends back home may either get really annoyed or end up learning everything you did when you had free access to Disney World.

7. Boy do you miss the days when Mondays were happy.

"We love you Mondays, we do."

For some who were into the social scene, you blankly gaze out your window on a Monday night wondering what county you would have been playing at Son On The Beach. You watch your remaining CP friends' Snapchat stories and think to yourself, "Anzacs VS. Gayllerie!? Ugh, must have been a good game." You miss the days when your only struggle was to make it out of work on time to get to Happy Mondays. Your friends back home wonder how you are so freakishly good at flip cup. It’s a CP thing.

8. 90% of your best friends are long distance.

Skype dates are essential.

You created bonds with people from all over the world during your CP. You celebrated holidays with these people. You spent every single day with them during your time in Florida. Your program would never be as magical if it wasn't for the amazing people you met here. Some of these people turn into your life long best friends-- even if they currently reside 12 hours ahead of you. There isn't a day that goes by that you don’t think about you CP BFFs. When they say you will meet the most amazing people you will ever interact with working for Disney, they were not kidding. These people are even more than friends to you, they are family. If it means staying up till 2AM to Skype with your old roommate, who now lives on the other side of the world, it doesn't even cross your mind how late it is. Catching up with them is always worth it.

9. You probably have roughly 500 "I'm Celebrating" buttons.

"Happy squad-iversary!"

You found every excuse in the book to rock an "I'm Celebrating" button when you and your squad hit the parks. "I'm celebrating ERs" was a great one to sport when you got off work early. The button days were the special days. You could probably fill an entire cork board with all of the buttons you collected over your CP. Thank goodness for that, you'll have a tangible memory of those magical days for a lifetime.

10. The clock strikes 3:00PM and you know the Festival Of Fantasy Parade is strolling out of Frontier Land.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the time has come to take your places” -The Festival Of Fantasy Parade.

You continuously catch yourself looking at the clock around 3PM and feeling a little empty inside. To all the days before work when you watched that parade with your roommates, you were the greatest. You can always spot a cast member as “dreams that glow” blur down Main Street. They are usually the ones dancing along and singing as their favorite floats pass by. What you would do to relive those days.

11. You know a lot about the world and the people it's made up of.

I’d be real keen to learn about your culture over some Maccas, eh.

You know to never tell an Australian their accent sounds like a Kiwi's or visa-versa. You can spot the difference from miles away. You’ve learned the lads from down under are some of the funniest people you’ll ever interact with, and there are in fact, no kangaroos in New Zealand— just wallabies. You know that the people from Spain and Brazil are usually down for some fun and it's always a good time to kick back with your friends from France or The Netherlands. It's true that the Italians are loud and outspoken, in the best way possible. The people from Japan are simply the some of the sweetest. You meet so many people from all over the world and learn so much about their culture. You get more of a feel for all of the greatness the world is made up of than any textbook could ever explain.

12. You could draw a map of Magic Kingdom blindfolded.

“Nearest FastPass kiosk?!” “Down the pathway to the left!

Not only is Disney World your home, but you know every square inch of it. You could still probably give someone directions to the nearest quick service restaurant of your location, from wherever you are currently sitting in the world.

13. Applying for jobs? Disney always makes you stand out.

“Wow, you worked for Disney World? Tell me more about that!”

Your resume stands out among the thousands. Potential employers want to hear about your Disney College Program experience and you are over the moon to share. You tell them about the days where you immersed guests into the theme of your location and all of the magic you made. Working for the number one entertainment company is something to be proud of.

14. You are constantly checking airline prices to reunite with your roommates and get back to the place that started it all.

There is nothing better than reuniting with your Disney family. Your most visited web pages are airlines sites. You count the days where you can rule the parks again with your favorite people by your side. You can't help but to run to them in the middle of MCO with tears in your eyes and magic in your heart, ready to create even more memories together. You know you found forever friends in them, it's never goodbye— it's see ya real soon.

15. You have a strong emotional attachment to certain rides of shows.

"The best part is, you'll never run out of wishes"- Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

There are some shows and rides that take you right back to the days where Walt Disney World was your usual hang out spot. Some of those shows have so much more meaning to you and the magic you made. You tend to get a little teary eyed watching them when you visit. Even when your CP is over, the magic lives on in your soul.

16. Disney is not just a vacation spot to you, it’s your home.

You feel at ease here. You may have even found who you are and who you aspire to be here. It’s a special place to you that holds so much magic. Going back feels familiar. You never feel like an outsider here. Walt Disney World really is your home and it welcomes you right back every time you return.

17. People who know you before your College Program say you've changed.

You're more outspoken, you are confident in yourself and you carry on with pride. Not to mention your work ethic and customer service skills are outstanding. You believe in things and the people around you. You believe in magic and that's all thanks to the Disney College Program.

18. It was the best 4 months - 1 year of your life and you would do anything to relive just one more day of being a CP.

"While no one knows for sure what we'll see or do. I do know it will be quite an adventure, an adventure that we'll take and make together. See you in the future"- Spaceship Earth.

If you were given the opportunity to put on those extreme high-waisted polyester grandpa pants and that florescent shirt that was probably eight sizes too big for you— you’d do it in a heartbeat. Despite the long hours and blazing sun, sometimes your life felt like a dream. Your time spent working for the mouse will forever be your most magical days, as the Disney College Program was the best opportunity of your entire life.

Cover Image Credit: Dana Saccoccio

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

8 Amazing Instagram Accounts That Are A MUST To Follow

We all know you scroll through Insta at least 57 times a day, but it's OK... we're all a little guilty.

35
views

Do you ever find yourself looking at someone's Instagram profile and just truly being inspired or simply just enjoying the content? Well, you've come to the right place because I am going to BLOW YOU AWAY with these amazing Instagram profiles that you just HAVE to follow!!

The Holmes Sisters

These sisters, who you can also find in the cover photo, are E V E R Y T H I N G! I started off watching Graysie, the sister on the left in the cover photo, on YouTube quite some time ago. I followed her on Instagram where I found her older sister Bayleigh, the sister in the middle in the cover photo, and her younger sister Lilly, the sister on the right in the cover photo. These girls are just truly inspiring and honestly just life goals if we're being honest. Bayleigh & Graysie have a boutique called Tempted, which has super cute stuff, and they sell Arbonne! You definitely need to go give them a follow ASAP!

Instagrams:

Bayleigh - @bayleighholmes

Graysie - @graysieholmes

Lilly - @lillycateholmes

Kelsie Bynum

Y'all, this girl has the most spunky and upbeat personality, like ever! She is so fun!! I recently found her on Instagram where I learned about her blog, Sassy Southern Blonde! She is super engaging on Instagram with her followers and is always doing giveaways! You def won't regret giving this precious girl a follow!

Insta - @kelsiebynum

Mallory Ervin

I also found Mal via YouTube where I learned all about her life, her sweet husband, Kyle, her precious pup, Dug, and her new son, Ford! They are the most perfect family from Nashville, and their YouTube videos and Instagrams have so much fun content that you don't want to miss out on!

Mallory - @malloryervin

Kyle - @kyledimeola

Dug - @dugdimeola

Casey Holmes

This girl is everything, y'all. Her and her husband are so freaking precious, AND THEY JUST FOUND OUT THEY'RE HAVING A BABY! I also found Casey via YouTube, shocker, right? She also has her own boutique, which is Rosie Daze, named after her pups, Rose & Daisy! I love this girl so much, and I know you will too!

Insta - @caseyhl91

Related Content

Facebook Comments