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The first thing that comes to Devin “The Poet’s” mind when asked about being a poet is “Awesome!” Devin speaks with ease balancing out his excitement as he discusses his career as a poet and his involvement within the community.
Born in Brooklyn, 23-year-old Devin did not discover his passion for poetry until he attended Culture Club at the Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The Culture Club catered to a variety of students with different activities like dancing, acting, rapping, and poetry. “I was the president of my high school at that time, and all I did was play sports,” said Devin. “I really wasn’t doing anything culturally stimulating,” says Devin.
In search of something more than sports and academics, Devin sought the advice of one his teachers, Mr. O’Brien. “He reached out to me and said, hey you should be apart of a group called the culture club,” Devin says switching his voice slightly when portraying Mr. O’Brien. “I was like what will I do? I don’t sing I don’t rap, and I don’t dance. He was like you should do poetry and I was like nah’ man, poetry is for girls and stuff,” Devin said. Mr. O’Brien acknowledged Devin’s potential and took him to the Nuyorican Poets Café on 236 East 3rd St. in Manhattan. After seeing a few spoken word poets perform, Devin had unveiled his zeal for poetry.
“There was a lot of interesting people in the audience,” . said Devin. “The poets that went up were definitely personable and they performed at a high level,” says Devin. One of the poets that performed that day at the cafe was the well-known spoken word poet, Oveous Maxiusm, who Devin considers a good influence and friend. Since then Devin has worked with VH1, JP Morgan Chase, Power 105,and Sprite.
“I feel like the positive messages that poetry puts out there and the entertainment value of it will be getting more and more main stream exposure,” Devin said.
Although Devin has accomplished an array of things, he prides himself on staying down to earth and writing, just because. “I put myself in every poem,” he said. “I just write poems because I like to write poems and I perform because I like to perform I guess.”
Devin’s most recent performance was at Pace University, in Manhattan. When it came time to perform, although excited. Devin remained calm as usual and did what was natural to him, which is relate. “Since we’re relatively the same age, I feel like there’s a “relatability” that my work has. People really liked the stuff. They came up to me after and talked about it, and it was fun,” Devin said.
As Devin continues to climb the artistic ladder of success he makes sure to provide the same opportunity that Boys and Girls Culture Club offered to him. Devin has been conducting poetry workshops throughout the Boys and Girls high schools. He has also teamed up with Urban Word NYC, a poetry program targeted towards teenagers that help them develop writing and performance skills.
Devin has declared himself “The Poet” and plans on keeping it that way, he makes it clear that he has no time to juggle any other relationships besides his L-O-V-E poetry. Devin states, “I’m single right now and I feel like I’m at the point in my life where I might be too busy for a girlfrien. I’m 23 years old and I feel like I don’t want to break anybody’s heart, but you know I guess that’s a good answer, I don’t know.”