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First Draft Open Mic featuring Taylor Steele
May 23, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
#UWFirstDraft is a free, non-censored, open mic & weekly reading series sponsored by Urban Word NYC. It is open to all teen poets, musicians, MCs, Urban Word alumni, and mentors. We seek to provide a safe space for artistic expression, experimentation and development across all genres. First Draft is not a workshop nor a staged show. It’s the stepping stone in-between. It is open to artists of all mediums seeking to share their creative energy and unique perspective. All generations of the Urban Word community, past, present and future, are invited to share their voices, ideas and wisdom.
About Our Feature:
Taylor Steele is a Bronx-born, Brooklyn-based writer and performer. Her work can be found at Apogee Journal, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Rogue Agent, Blackberry: a Magazine, and more. Her chapbook “Dirty.Mouth.Kiss” is available on Pizza Pi Press. Taylor has written for The Body is Not an Apology, Drunken Boat Journal, and Philadelphia Printworks. An internationally ranked spoken word artist, she has been featured by Huffington Post, Brooklyn Poets, Button Poetry and is a 2016 Pushcart Nominee. Most importantly, Taylor is a triple-Taurus who believes in the power of art to change, shape, and heal.
About our curators:
Sofía Snow is an artist, educator, and community organizer who has the ability to see where there is lacking, and to create. In 2006, Sofía was titled the Spoken Word Artist of the Year by the Massachusetts Industry Committee Hip Hop Awards. Sofia began teaching writing workshops to her peers at just 16 years old. Sofía has taken her passions (youth work, arts, and social justice) across the US, UK and Caribbean. In 2013, the City of Boston officially resolved February 28th as Sofía Snow Day; Snow was acknowledged as Cosmopolitan Magazine‘s Fun Fearless Female for April 2013. She is currently the Associate Program Director of Urban Word NYC.
Jeffrey Ravon LeGrande is a young aspiring artist, poet, and athlete. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Spanish Harlem he found passion for his art and sports at an early age. He attends Art and Design High School and is an eager learner. Through the experiences of leadership programs, art internships, and community based sports/programs he yearns for the safety, creative exploration, and happiness of others and himself. In the future he sees himself as an educator, athlete, poet, artist and advocate.
James Larkin (aka DJ Cuddles) is a poet and performer from the Tri-State area who is currently attending St. John’s University where he is studying English. He was a member of the 2015 ConneticWord Slam team which competed in BNV in Atlanta, Georgia and was also a member of the 2015-2016 Urban Word NYC Youth Leadership Board. He has performed in spaces such as the Bushnell, Apollo Theater, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Emlin Theater, Summer Stage, has run workshops with ConneticWord, and is the co-founder of the first ever St. John’s slam team. When he isn’t writing or performing you can probably find James running his fingers through his luxurious hair.
About the founders:
Jon Sands is a writer known for electric readings, and the author of The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing). He founded First Draft along with the Urban Word NYC Youth Board. His work has been featured in The New York Times, published widely in various journals, and anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He starred in the award winning web-series Verse: A Murder Mystery from Rattapallax Films, is the co-founder of Poets in Unexpected Places, and a facilitator with the Dialogue Arts Project. http://jonsands.com/