Tunisian Poet Samia Ouederni @ Nuyorican Poets Cafe

After sharing a poem on Facebook in response to the revolution that was happening in her home of Tunisia, Samia was asked to read for Miguel Algarin, the Founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Samia is the 1st Tunisian poet to be published in English; and, read at the Nuyorican, one of the most important venues for the development of poetry, music and theater in New York. In 1973, Algarin’s mission was to create a multicultural venue that both nurtures artists and exhibits a variety of artistic works to both enlighten and empower the underclass, it is a mission that has remained true to this day.

“If you have the baby here tonight, the baby will be named Nuyorican” Miguel said with a laugh to Samia before her reading. I filmed my taxi conversation with Samia enroute to the venue about Tunisia, NYC, language and poetry. Ra ,a seasoned Nuyorican organizer, explains how he discovered Samia and why he “wanted her to read for Miguel”. She read 5 poems that night. I shared the poem Samia read in Arabic titled ارادة الحياة ( English translation “Will To Live”) written in 1933 by Chebbi. Part of the poem is the Tunisian anthem and now chanted during the ongoing revolution in Tunisia and Egypt.  She is also featured @ The Poetry Foundation.

Beans: Anti-Pop Consortium, Radiohead & Massive Attack

I visited Label clothing store in NYC to film Vincent’s (the owner) story but he said he had a better story. Welcome to the wonderful world of BEANS, aka Mr. Ballbeam. Hip-Hop rebel. Wordsmith extraordinaire. Sonic architect. Fashion renegade. Published poet. Culture star. Raised in White Plains, NY and first picked up on in the mid-90’s as part of the mythic Soup / Boom Poetic collective, the word began to spread. Having achieved his widest acclaim as one-third of the legendary NYC progressive rap crew, Anti-Pop Consortium, BEANS continues his grand experiments in music and life with releases on Warp and Thirsty Ear.

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