– Donney Rose
I came into poetry in a way that many young Black boys find an entry point to the world of creative writing, through hip hop. My older brothers were hip hop fans, thus I grew up in the culture and my appreciation of the music was heavily influenced by my appreciation of the lyricism its creators produced.
As a son of a reading teacher, literacy and the value of words has always been a guiding force in my life. Sure, I did many of the same things most young boys did (sandlot sports, ride bikes etc.), but as an undersized kid, I needed to have a way of being seen in the world that my stature wouldn’t provide for me. Poetry gave me visibility. It has allowed me to be visible to myself first and the world second.
Spoken word/slam gave me a living definition of the word community. It has allowed me to remove the blinders that the norms of my society and culture placed upon me. This art form has made so many people’s stories visible to me. It has reminded me that we don’t move through the world unseen, no matter how much the world may try to tell us that no one is taking notice.
Donney Rose, a Baton Rouge native and active member of the city’s poetry scene, has been performing spoken word and facilitating spoken word events for over a decade. Donney has been a member of eight Baton Rouge national slam teams and was also a member of Baton Rouge’s 2003 Southern Fried Regional’s championship team. .He works as a teaching artist and program director for an arts-based non-profit, Forward Arts Inc. He is also the current Slam Master of the Eclectic Truth Poetry Slam. Donney has recorded three spoken word CDs and author of the chapbook, The Crying Buck (Next Left Press). His work has been featured on Button Poetry, All Def Digital and in Nicholls State’s Gris Gris literary journal.