Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Bards & Brews Spotlight on a Poet: Lee J. Green

Lee J. Green is a regular performer at Bards & Brews and has been an incredible volunteer for the library in planning and advocating for this program.

How long have you been performing spoken-word poetry or appearing in front of live 

I have been writing poems ever since I was five years old and performing theatre/acting since high school. I love expressing myself in creative ways and getting positive reactions from people.

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

I believe it was six years ago January at Bards and Brews. Ironic-Lee a friend of mine in Free the Hops told me about it. He said it was free craft beer and poetry reading. So I gathered some poems I had recently written and got up on the mic. The audience gave me a receptive reaction, but when I saw some of the polished performers get on the mic, I got it. The next time I started writing poems, parody songs and spoken word then harkening on my performance skills to do something that combines the written word and theatre versus reading old poems previously written.

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

I know this may sound odd, but I get parody song lyrics in my head all the time and Weird Al Yankovic is a big inspiration (I got to meet him when he came to Birmingham last year). I am a fan of great comedy writers in any format as well as non-fiction authors who have a compelling story to tell.

What art or artists are you most interested right now?

Of course my favorite visual artist is my wife Delaine Derry Green (at Naked Art). I am inspired every time I come to Bards and Brews. Michael Harriott, Voice Porter, Christina Schmidt, Mojo Mama, Be Shaun, Kay Leavell, Jahman Hill, Glenn Griggs, Ethan Tibbs, Will Gillette – I am proud to call all of them not just inspirations and great spoken word artists, but friends. Bards and Brews makes lifelong connections that I will always cherish.

Which of you poems has had an unexpected reaction by an audience?
I would not say unexpected, but perhaps even better response than I had hoped for some. Bards and Brews audiences are always receptive, especially considering every time the audience is always filled with other spoken word artists who appreciate that I/we are opening ourselves up and sharing with others. Of course, being a punster and comedy parody song guy, when they laugh and sing along, it's gold. For puns, boos are cheers to me! 😊

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

I think everyone has talent within them. I challenge people to be strong in your beliefs and your expression. I have encouraged several friends to perform at Bards and Brews for the first time. When you perform your work, you enrich your soul and our souls.

Do you have anything you would like to promote?

I don't have personal projects to support except for what I do at Bards and Brews. But please support Delaine Derry Green at Naked Art. I am also the (volunteer) marketing director at Theatre Downtown (above 5th Ave Antiques in Southside) and we have some great shows there that no one else is doing in Birmingham.

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