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An Interview with Taylor Mali

The Gift of Poetry

What is slam poetry? Meet four-time National Poetry Slam champion, Taylor Mali as he talks about falling in love with nouns to tell your truths with hosts Asya Gonzalez and Zahra Hasanian. Mali says that we enter other’s people’s truths through the objects surrounding them and he gives real life examples from classes he is teaching. Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series "Def Poetry Jam."  Book Smart reporter, Maria Wong, compares novels with poetry indicating that they both express something, often something meaningful, often sharing a new perspective with the reader or reinforcing values. Yet they are very different.  Is poetry given attention in your school?

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”~Edgar Allen Poe

Taylor Mali is the author of Bouquet of Red, a poetic celebration of “a marriage I did not yet realize was over.” He is also the author of What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World as well as two other books of poetry, The Last Time As We Are and He received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2001 to develop Teacher! Teacher! a one-man show about poetry, teaching, and math which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival.

Formerly president of Poetry Slam, Inc., the non-profit organization that oversees all poetry slams in North America, Taylor Mali makes his living entirely as a spoken-word and voiceover artist these days, traveling around the country performing and teaching workshops as well as doing occasional commercial voiceover work. He has narrated several books on tape, including The Great Fire (for which he won the Golden Earphones Award for children’s narration)

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