As an Artist, 2012 was a year of tremendous success. I was busier than ever before touring, creating new work, teaching, and building community with artists all over the United States and abroad. I performed at dozens of colleges and universities across the nation, and I thank my agent, Travis Watkins with Layman Lyric, for all he has done for me over the last four years. As of January 1st, I will be represented by a new agency for performance poetry booking, and I will share that information once we are ready.
|Saguaro in the beautiful desert.|
|Youth residency participants|
sharing original poetry.
|I spent my mornings writing here|
For months Elier and I communicated online, mostly using Facebook's chat function. We were virtual pen pals communicating in real-time about the festival details. Like any emerging spoken word scene, there were many bumps and uncertainties along the way. At times, details appeared directionless and resources seemed less than limited, but we kept exchanging ideas. He sent the official letter of invitation that all foreign visitors participating in government-sponsored events must have. In Cuba, every public event has to be approved and sponsored by a government agency. Elier is an independent promoter of poetry and cultural events, which poses many issues in and of itself, but “Zonas Poeticas” was set to be an officially sanctioned event. Elier received support from the Cuban Agency of Rap, as well as two or three other agencies that saw potential in the event. I was charged with figuring out if the trip was going to be a beneficial one for me to take. With my work, school, and performance travel schedule being super busy, I had to really meditate on it. After months of contemplation and information, I accepted the invitation and boarded a plane to Mexico.
|Hotel view of Havana|
Because the ridiculousness that is the embargo continues to exist, and the permit process is tedious and almost impossible to navigate, I decided travel to Cuba without permission. Borders are houses of cards in the eye of a hurricane. Fences drawn in the sand the tide and wind wash away intentionally. See my full blog post on my trip to Cuba here or watch a slide show of my pictures from the trip here
Other highlights of 2012 include:
|universities across the U.S|
|Spending time in Culebra, Puerto Rico|
|Co-coaching the 2012 SlamNuba National Poetry Slam Team|
|Attending the National Association of|
Latino Arts and Cultures' National
Conference in Philly