Hometown: Muskegon, MI
Quote: “How could something so important to God not understand their purpose and their worth?” — Poetri
One Accolade: Host, Co-creator and Co-CEO of Spoken Funk
To regard Tony Award winner POETRI as just a poet would be underestimating his abilities. As a writer/producer, he has worked on “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam” on HBO and Broadway, for which he was a featured player as a prominent Def Poet. POETRI has also written and appeared on over 150 commercials for clients like Nike, NFL Films, Lakers, Snickers, Reebok, BET and Arby’s. Today you can hear Poetri recite several of his poems on all KCAL 9 commercials for Laker Basketball. Poetri has worked with such legends as Curtis Mayfield, Bootsy Collins and Nona Hendrix, as well as some of today’s stars like LL Cool J, ?uestlove, John Sally and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. He is also the voice on Non-Stop-Pop on Delta Airlines. He is one of the first poets in this new generation to smash the theory that “poets don’t make any money”.
He has traveled all over the country as well as various parts of the world including Australia-Sydney Festival and New Zealand -Auckland Festival teaching and entertaining audiences ranging from forty to four thousand. His shows have been embraced by a plethora of stages including but not limited to The Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, the Apollo Theatre in New York City, the Clay Center in West Virginia, and the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
Although Poetri exudes vastness in every aspect of his career, his true passion is acting. You may have already caught his charm and lovable personality on such shows as “The Today Show on NBC”, “Showtime at the Apollo” and VH-1 PSA’S for Black History Month. But POETRI has also had major appearances in “The Horse Whisperer” alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt, a reocurring role on the EMMY Award winning show, Starting Over, the Snickers digi-sodes “Instant Def” alongside the Black Eyed Peas, as well as being a major thread to the storyline of the ground-breaking reality documentary “Black.White”, which was executive produced by Ice Cube and R.J. Cutler.
But his work doesn’t stop there. Poetri hosts the largest weekly poetry venue in the nation, with an attendance of over 350 people every Tueasday. Da’ Poetry Lounge has not only broadened the appeal of spoken word in Los Angeles, but has become a haven for young people to come and express their emotions in a positive atmosphere. Poetri has now taken his popularity in the Spoken Word community, added some comedy, and founded Beverly Hills’ Latest Phenomenon, Spoken Funk. With two of the HOTTEST Spoken Word venues in Southern California, it is a wonder that this gifted artist remains so humble and loveable.
Spoken word is in full stride and Poetri is leading the way.