Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Bards & Brews: Spotlight on Poet Tomika Glenn

Tomika Glenn is a poet who performs music and spoken word poetry under the pseudonym Blaque Diamond. She is a Cleveland, Ohio native and regularly performs at Bards & Brews as well as other spoken word poetry events around Birmingham.

Can you tell us about the first time you performed your poetry in front of a crowd?

It was around 2006 and I was still in Cleveland and I was terrified. I don't remember much about the crowd only that it made me feel like Cleveland wasn't the place for me as a poet. After that I stopped performing for a few years. I didn't perform again until 2011, right before I moved to Birmingham and that experience was about the same.

Who are some of the poets or writers that have had the most impact on you?

Definitely people I've met along the way. They're not "famous" but they're awesome at what they do.

What art or artists (in any medium) are you most interested right now?

I'm reading a lot of blogs Negus Who Read, Very Smart Brothas, Truly Tafakari are just a few. Michael Harriot makes reading enjoyable no matter the topic. I'm loving Aminè! He's definitely making rap fun again. I love music! I listen to all music genres. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Which of you poem's has had an unexpected reaction by an audience?

I have a poem called 'Every 28 Hours' about the unarmed killing of black boys and men by police in America that I performed at Bards once and many in the audience and myself were in tears. We had to take a break before the next poet. Emotions were high that night. I love when my words make people think and feel.

Do you have an ask of the readers of this interview?

Support local artists and support Bards & Brews. The poetry community wouldn't be the same without it.

Do you have anything you would like to promote?

My album Blaque Diamond, Be You, is available for purchase. I'm on all music sharing sites.

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