Taalam Acey Speaks with us while on tour Dec.2010

Lady d….what are your thoughts when you go into well known book stores and see little to no selections of poetry when you know there are thousands of books for readers?

Acey…I don’t think much about since we’re in the internet age. If someone’s a fan, they can easily purchase signed copies off their favorite poet’s website. I used to provide books to stores on consignment but it was often hard to collect the money once the books were sold. Without distribution, it proved too much of a hassle. Also, we often don’t hold the level of inventory that would justify having books sitting idle in a store that we could easily have sold at a show for one hundred percent of the proceeds.

Lady d…if you could ask someone you admire one question who and what would you ask?

Acey…I would ask Oprah what she felt ab out Spoken Word and what she thought could be done to expose it to more people.

Lady d…what awards that you received for your work you never saw coming?

Acey…Two films that I was associated with one Sundance Awards. Also, my books and CDs have received awards from poetry organizations around the country including the MNSWA (Minnesota National Spoken Word Awards), the NUSPA (National Underground Spoken word Poetry Awards) in D.C. and Poetry for the People in Baltimore.

Lady d…what is one place you haven’t traveled to but can’t wait to go?

Acey…I would love to visit Senegal. I’v e wanted to see it since my college days. I never thought I’d have spent time in Holland, Germany, the UK and Austria before ever once going to Africa.

Lady d…what is something people DON’T know about you?

Acey…Many people don’t know that my education is in business rather than literature. I have a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. in Finance from Rutgers, where I subsequently taught.

Lady d…if you were allowed to make poetry more of a focus in the classroom what authors would you submit and why?

Acey…Gil Scott-Heron is my all time favorite. I would also choose Amiri Baraka because his work translates even better on page. I also believe Gwendolyn Brooks and June Jordan are amazing, lyrical writers.

Lady d…you have been on TV, magazines, live and every form possible right now… what other ways are you looking into showcasing yourself and your craft?

Acey…I would like to do more television work. It seems to be the best way to get my work in front of more people. The feedback I’ve received from BET and TV One’s support has proven very helpful over the years. Having a more pervasive television presence would significantly assist in exposing my art to the world.

Lady d…why do you think it’s important for African Americans to help keep poetry known for future generations?

Acey…Poetry is a journal of the way things are and have been. Reading the work from the Harlem Renaissance poets and the Black Arts Movement provide us with a window to what was going on at the time and what they thought about. The same is true with our work today and it holds a similar value for future generations.

Lady d…what made you decide to travel as much as you do instead of doing shows for a shorter length of time?

Acey…The market for poetry in an y given place can’t sustain a full time Spoken Word artist. This mandates that I travel from state to state and country to country in order to expose more people to my work. At this point however, I doubt I can expand much further without some sort of frequent television presence.

Lady d…what do you think is the motivation that you see when you travel and see other poets perform?

Acey…It differs depending on the poet. Some do it as a gateway to acting or perhaps even money. Others do it primarily because they were born to and those are the ones who move me the most. Genuine sincere emotion coupled with talent can be breathtaking

Lady d…do you think Obama will ever get a fair chance to prove what he can do while he is president?

Acey…No president truly does. Four years is too short of a time span to make significant changes particularly when a quarter of the way through you have to concern yourself with mid-term elections and halfway through you have to concern yourself with your own re-election. Even if given a second term, a sitting president has to mind the effect their decisions have on their party’s future elections. Long term problems call for long term solutions and presidents don’t get to serve long enough to face serious challenges.

Open Mic!!! All I would add is to check out my website take a free listen to my work and look at my videos and open your mind further to the possibilities of now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: