Jamal Parker is a Black writer, performer and teaching artist residing in Philadelphia, PA. He’s a Two Time International Poetry Slam Champion, having won Brave New Voices (2015) and the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (2016). He holds the title of The Philly Pigeon’s 2017 Grand Slam Winner, and was listed as one of the Top 10 Must Read Poets of Color by BookRiot. In 2017 he was a coach for Temple University’s Slam Team, which earned the title of Co-Champions at CUPSI. That summer he also served as a coach for PYPM’s Team Black, who made Finals Stage at BNV and finished 4th in the world.
Jamal is a Watering Hole Fellow, a 2014 Arts for Life Award Recipient, and a judge for the Campaign of Black Male Achievement’s first ever National Poetry Contest in 2017. In literature press, he served as the Poetry Editor for (b)oinkzine and was the Social Media Coordinator for ÉLAN Magazine. He is an alumn of Brave New Voices, Philly Youth Poetry Movement, The Write (Young Voices), Gustavus Adolphus Slam Camp (Indiana University Slam Institute), and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. He’s been blessed to perform, present workshops, and facilitate panels for The Art + Business Council of Philadelphia, The Kimmel Foundation, YouthSpeaks, The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color Conference, The Philadelphia Foundation and Rumble Young Man Rumble.
Currently, Jamal is the Artistic Director of Babel Poetry Collective at Temple, where he directs and produces poetry showcases. He also is the Co-Founder and Outreach Coordinator of the multi-genred Black Boy Fly Collective. His written work can be found in L’Éphémère Review, Dylandlit Press, (b)oinkzine, WusGood Magazine, The Altar Collective, Cunjuh Mag, Teenage Wasteland, and Poetry Nook.
Origins: A Performance Poetry Analysis
Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, are all superheroes with significant origin stories, which are retold time and time again. Their origin makes them who they are. As writers, it’s important to understand and acknowledge where we come from and how our circumstances influence our art. Participants will examine performance poetry beyond the surface, and find new ways of telling our origins with in-depth writing and performance exercises. Come prepared to engage, be open, and have fun.
The Beauty of Brevity – A Haiku Slam Workshop
The “Haiku” is known as a traditional form of Japanese poetry in three lines of five, seven, and five, yet the American version often varies in form. In all cases, the poem is 17 syllables in length. Often poets have a tendency to add unnecessary articles or language in their pieces, and this workshop will be serve as a gateway on how to condense. Participants will examine the history the Haiku in poetry slam, and will incorporate literary devices, punchlines, and even comedic timing in a writing exercise. Afterwards, participants will share their work in a Head to Head Haiku Slam.