Author and spoken word maestro Ernetta Proctor aka Phenomenon the Poet is the host of Phenomenal Soul Sessions, a radio poetry show at www.E3Radio.org. She is the sole proprietor of Night Circus Publications, a publishing and management company which provides management services to performing artist and public speakers. In 2009 she published “Lesbian Chronicles: The Black Life,” a novel that follows the lives of three young black women as they search for love. Currently she’s working on the screenplay based on the book and in October 2011 she will release her newest novel, “Arguing with a Black Woman.”
I recently chatted with her just after she’d finished a live taping of Phenomenal Soul Sessions which can be heard every Thursday night at 7:00PM Central/8:00PM Eastern time.
PRIDEINDEX: You have a special birthday event planned for this weekend, could tell us more about that?
PHENOMENON: Absolutely, it’s my 27th birthday and I’ve never had a party as well I wanted to give my supporters a taste of what to expect for my one woman show that is in the works. So, it’s a birthday party / poetry performance of me and my closest associates who just happen to be the hottest artist on the scene right now. I’m really excited about it. J’s Bistro on 98th and Western is the place to be on July 30th people. Go Leos!
PI: What is your earliest memory of performing before an audience?
PH: HA! That’s so funny. Um, I remember rapping on stage for the TV show when I was about 13 years old with a bunch of grown men. I was very known on the rap scene in Chicago then because I was the youngest female gangsta rapper that anybody knew. I was broke with little guidance. I came from nothing. But I was spitting straight fire. So yea, I remember that. *laughter*
PI: How would you describe your poetic style?
PH: My style in one word would be RADICAL. I say what needs to be said fearlessly. I’m a shocker, unexpected.
PI: Why did you become a poet?
PH: Actually I didn’t choose poetry. God chose it for me. I’ve always had an anointing over my words and deliverance. So one day after I just started performing on the scene cause rap just didn’t excite me anymore. I was at a sister circle meeting and this pastor walked in off of the street to speak to us and he turned to me and didn’t move. Then he proceeded to tell me the calling that God had on my life. He told me I’d be an author. He said that I had a show coming up that I was nervous about but not to worry because God said everyone who was supposed to be there would be there. He told me that people talk about me because I was different but God said I was fearless. Then he said God said you’re not going to be a lawyer or anything like that, he said God called you a poet and write books and stuff and he’ll provide. Don’t worry.
PI: Where do find the inspiration for your performances?
PH: I’m fueled by emotion. Anger, sadness, happiness. I’m a passionate person so whatever is going on in my life or things that I see inspire me to inspire other. There’s a message in everything I ever perform to help someone. Guaranteed.
PI: Tell us about your education background where did you attend school and what was your major?
PH: I’ve attended tons of schools, job corps, and received a bunch of certifications for subjects all across the board. I’m actually a nerd, a cool freakin nerd. I love school! *laughing.* I have a degree in English and Communications from East-West University.
PI: How did you become associated with the Anna DeShawn Show on E3 Radio?
PH: Oh my. I met Anna in Las Vegas at Family Fest 2010 while I was performing and promoting my first book. And we began talking and come find out she lived right down the street from me in Chicago. I was in awe. But since then we’ve been collaborating our talents and it’s been amazing. A world wind of blessings. She’s great.
PI: Name some of the guests that have appeared on Phenomenal Soul Sessions?
PH: And what’s the craziest thing that has happened on the show? We’ve had a countless number of HBO Def Poets on the show Triple Black, of course my co-host ButtaFlysoul, Mreld, Helena D Lewis, playwrights such as Drea, Kayo & Jamaal St. John, community activist Mama Brenda, Awthentik, Ezra Proppakation and the list just goes on and on.
PI: Is there a particular guest you like to have on the show?
PH: I’d like to have Jessica Caremore on the show; the first spoken word poem that I ever heard as a kid was on Showtime at the Apollo called the Black Statute of Liberty. I didn’t even know what spoken word was back then but I knew after I saw her that I liked it.
For appearance inquiries contact Phenomenon via facebook at www.facebook.com/home.php#!/PhenomenonThePoet.