Welcome to Slam Poetry 101 where the insanely talented poets from Verses and Flow school us on the history of the art as well as lessons on their place in it.
Today’s Teacher: Storm Thomas
Q: Who is the poet or poem that changed your life?
A: Most poems change my life, at least a little. Poetry, if your listening, gets inside you and teaches you about the ways other beings see the world, small pieces at a time.
Q: Which era of poetry would you prefer to live in: Harlem Renaissance; 70’s Black Arts Movement or Post Neo Soul and why?
A: Without a doubt in my mind, I would trade any technology I have in my possession to go back to live in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance. Every element of the black and brown movement at the time was so keen and poignant. It was an amazing time in our [his]storys and I would give so much for just one day in that time.
Q: Tell us about the first time you performed on stage.
A: The first first time I ever ever performed on stage, now that I really really think, was in a play at El Segundo Foursquare church. One of my sisters and my brother were wise men. My oldest sister was the main angel and I was maybe 8 years old. I will never forget looking up at my “biblical” family. It was so exciting and I havent been able to quit performing since!
Q: Describe the most remarkable Slam poetry event you’ve ever attended?
A: My second time attending Cupsi. I made bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime with my team: Terisa Siagatonu, Kevin Holmes, Jesse Quick-Rincon, Casey Rummel and Lisa Straehley.
Q: Describe the most remarkable Slam poetry event in which you’ve participated?
A: It would be hard to ever have an experience like I had while performing as a part of Ink Slam in 2012. Members of my family: Aunts, cousins, both of my sisters and most importantly my mother came to see me perform for the first time. It is hard to go off into the world and find your own voice, but it is harder to go back to the blood that built you and give that new voice up as a new sacrifice. I won that night but winning was nothing compared to seeing my family proudly looking back at me.
Q: You’ve been tasked with writing your best poem ever, what album do you take with you for company?
A: Right now in my life I would be utterly torn between Fiona Apple’s 2012 album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do aaaand Chance the Rappers mixtape Acid Rap. They represent two sides of myself that are sometimes irreconcilable. Buuuut coming in a tie for second place would be Babyface with The Day (1996) and Randy Travis with High Lonesome (1991)