Our series on the ten poets you should know continues; next is the Millennial Poet named B.
The Millennial poet named B is a Chicago-based artist and motivator. B is the creator of She’s a Millennial, a lifestyle blog devoted to uniting, empowering, and inspiring Millennial women to live their desired lives.
PrideIndex became familiar with her phenomenal work this summer when she competed in Black Alphabet and The Esteem Awards’ poetry slam. “My poetry speaks primarily to people who are queer black women who do or want to explore, express, and embrace their erotic selves. Meaning that they discuss intimacy within the areas of sex, sensuality, kink, and romance,” she said.
Here’s what this beautiful black butterfly shared via email.
PrideIndex (PI): Tell us about the first time you competed in Slam. When and where did you win?
B: The first time I competed in a poetry Slam was back in July through the Black Alphabet. Definitely did not win, ha-ha and getting up there was intimidating, because I had no idea what to expect (nor what I was doing). Not to mention, there was a lot of great talent. But I still showed up and would love to improve my skills and compete again.
PI: Why did you become a poet?
B: Written word has been a keyway for me to express myself and speak my truth. It allows me to capture my thoughts and feelings that I haven’t been able to do in any other art form. Plus, people have been receptive to hearing and reading my words, so that’s been influential as well.
PI: Who does your poetry speak to?
B: My poetry speaks primarily to people who are queer black women who do or want to explore, express, and embrace their erotic selves. Meaning that they discuss intimacy within the areas of sex, sensuality, kink, and romance. These have been spaces that I’ve had a hard time creating a healthy relationship in for myself and my pieces speak to the growth and development of that.
PI: Name three people that have had the most influence over your style as an artist.
B: My main poetry style is morefree flowing and doesn’t follow a particular style or structure, but I am getting more into haikus – because brevity can be powerful, utilizing more wordplay, and even introducing humor into my pieces.
PI: Besides spitting in slam what do you like to do to unwind?
B: I live a very active lifestyle and find solace when I’m trying something new like a restaurant (I’m a huge foodie) or activity. I also love practicing martial arts – it’s meditative and keeps me present in the moment. But, when I’m not feeding my face or literally kickin’ it, I enjoy lounging around at home and being a couch potato. Currently, I’m watching All The Queens Men on BET+ and I’m eating it up.
PI: What are you working on, right now?
B: Currently, I’m taking a Queer Erotic Poetry workshop at the Leather Archives and Museum. I’ve taken the course earlier this year, but for this iteration, we are centering our pieces around “spooky season.” So we’ve been exploring poetry styles, such as black out poetry, exquisite corpse poetry, and golden shovel poetry.
It’s been challenging, but fun. Attending this course has shown me the beauty of written word and the impact of seeing something written vs. being spoken, and I’m falling in love with it.
PI: If you could have dinner with any poet or writer living or deceased, who would you choose? Why?
B: William Shakespeare: Being touted the most successful poet in history, I’d love to learn more about the inspiration behind his plays, how & why he got into poetry/writing, and how he developed the sonnet. And, with his time being centuries ago, I’d love to ask who would be his favorite poet in modern times.
Maya Angelou: One of the most acclaimed poets, I would love to talk with her honestly about life. There’s so much wisdom she has, not only about being a writer/poet, but as someone who’s experienced a lot. I imagine her being like a grandmother to me and I’d love to receive all that she’d pour into me about her successes, challenges and what it took to overcome them.
Audrey Lorde: I’ve listened to her reading, Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, and it has taken me on a journey of redefining and expanding my understanding of what eroticism is. I used to think it was sex-centered, but it’s so much more than that. So, I’d love to talk more with her about her exploration and revelations on eroticism over some good wine and food.
PI: Where are you going to compete or appear next?
B: I’m not sure at this time. I’m a “one thing at a time” type of person. So, right now, I’m focused on completing the poetry class I’m in. Afterwards, I would like to learn more about Slam poetry and improve my skills from there.
PI: What does the future hold for you?
B: This is a great question! I see myself with expansive writing skills – playing with new formats, structures and literary devises. And having my pieces submitted to and featured at erotic art shows. I’ve applied and had my work showcased at some of them in the past, so that’s something I want to continue doing. It’s a great feeling to not only share your work, but to have it acknowledged.
10 Poets you should get to know – Part 1: Don’t Underestimate her Poetic Prowess Brooke Gerbers
10 Poets you should get to know – Part 2: Her Storie: An interview of spoken words’ leading lady Storie Devereaux
10 Poets you should get to know – Part 3: Sunshine of my life, A conversation with Sunshine Lombre
10 Poets you should get to know – Part 5: Fantastic Voyage: One-on-one with Motown Poet Urban Legin’d Obasaki
10 Poets you should get to know – Part 6: Just call her Dark N-Lovely, An interview of Chicago Poet Tarnynon Onumonu
10 Poets you should get to know – Part 7: Talking LOVE with activist & poet Michelle Antoinette Nelson
10 Poets you should get to know – Part 8: Poetry In Motion: An interview of Goddess Warrior
Coming Soon: 10 Poets you should get to know – Part 9: Ebony Stewart
Coming Soon: 10 Poets you should get to know – Part 10: Vision