As Spoken:

“i want to be a ground for revelation. whether this revelation comes in the shape of voice, words, movement, film, acting, poetry, prose, photography, or any other form.” – e.g. bailey

“What defines an artist? An artist is somebody who makes choices about what they’re going to do. Somebody can wave their hand, and that’s not really art. But when you make choices, when you have intention, and you have a philosophy and a foundation behind what you’re doing, then you’re moving into the realm of articulating an art, an artistic work.” – e.g. bailey

“Often I define spoken word as accentuating the rhythmic elements inherent in a poetic work, or adding a rhythm, or rhythms, to the poetic work––thereby expanding the texture, the context, and possibly the meaning of the work. You can accentuate these rhythmic elements either in simply your vocal delivery or you can add music, or obviously both. The work can be created by the individual poet or with a group of musicians, and poets, either improvisationally or through conscious arrangement.” – e.g. bailey

“There are all these decisions that have to go into how you can best exemplify that poem––to take it beyond just the reading of it, so you understand the meaning of the poem. Because meaning can come through other ways––it can come through a jazz rhythm that you use. [Amiri] Baraka will use a minute and a half rhythm from a Thelonius Monk piece, and then read a piece about Thelonius Monk. Where, if you were just reading the poem, you wouldn’t get that. And you get a deeper understanding because you’re actually hearing Monk’s music.” – e.g. bailey

“Spoken word is accentuating the rhythmic elements inherent in a poem. That rhythm can be music, it can be percussion, it can be your own voice.” – e.g. bailey

“It’s not to say that that’s [the griot tradition] the only thing that makes up spoken word, because it’s not. I call spoken word the American prodigy of the oral tradition, because it’s a distinct art form and it’s an American-originated form, Out of it evolves the verbal dexterity of hip hop.” – e.g. bailey

“Spoken word is the voice of the times and the spoken word artists are the voices of the community.” – e.g. bailey (in Insight News)

“Spoken word: An artistic form that accentuates the rhythmic (musical, percussive, vocal) elements inherent in a poem.” – e.g. bailey

“The poet is the singer crying; the singer is the poet crying out.” – e.g. bailey

“The poetic tradition is vital to every culture, and is a valuable way to learn about other cultures and each other.  And with the advent of a new millennium I think it is even more essential to work towards and treasure a global community and understanding.  With the diversity in the Twin Cities, as I have experienced it in the artistic community and at KFAI, I wanted to contribute to this possibility.  Also, I am amazed by the incredible talents of artists in the Twin Cities, and this series was a perfect opportunity to showcase these talents.” – e.g. bailey (on Words Will Heal the Wound Series)

“Poetry has a healing process, both for the artist and also for the, listener.” – e.g. bailey (on Words Will Heal the Wound)

“The art of spoken word is an ancient art form rooted in the oral tradition recognized in the griot tradition of Africa, the bardic tradition of Europe and the Middle East, the itinerant Tamil poets of India and the cantos singers of South America. Spoken word as it is practiced today is a rhythmically based performance of poetry that is steeped in influence of these traditions.” – e.g. bailey (on Spoken Word + the Singers of Daybreak Conference)

“The first exhibit of it’s kind, Ndimgbe, evolves out of the Igbo tradition of the Mbari celebration, in which artists from the community are chosen to reflect on what is happening in the community or to celebrate when the gods have treated them well.  The Ndimgbe is the name given to the artists that are chosen to participate in the Mbari, and means ‘the people of the time’ or ‘the people of the era.’ – (Ndimgbe African Artist Exhibit description)

“This is a vital exhibit because it reaches to a community that has been here for years but is often not recognized.  It also provides these artists an opportunity for their work to reach a larger audience, and their voice to be heard.  What they are saying in their work is important to all of us, especially in these times when the world seems so unstable.  We are grateful to Intermedia for recognizing the need to bring our vision to fruition.” – e.g. bailey (on Ndimgbe African Artist Exhibit)

“Our aim with The Remix is to delve into the language as the architects of our times and attempt to uncover references, and symbolism that comment on how we currently interpret our lives as black men and women.” – e.g. bailey (on The Remix)

“These are nonlinear narratives, which is a tradition in African American theater, African American work.  You look at jazz, you look at hip-hop — those are nonlinear forms in a lot of ways. And so it may not make literal sense, but it has to make spiritual sense.” – e.g. bailey (on The Remix)

“Our goal is to create a spoken word/music synthesis based in the aesthetic of the jazz ensemble. The work can originate in a word, a concept, an image, or a sound, and then each ‘instrument,’ including the voice, enters the ensemble on an equal footing and has an opportunity to lead and shape the experience.” – e.g. bailey (on Arkology)

“The aim is to experiment with the presentation of spoken word by melding it with other art forms, including music, dance, and film.” – e.g. bailey (on Nu Ark Experiments)

“We will explore forms and avenues not normally associated with spoken word, with the hope of bringing new life to poetry, and giving back to it the force and energy inherent in the oral tradition.” – e.g. bailey (on Nu Ark Experiments)

“The audience response to that piece [blues for nina] as well as the music/word interaction in the rehearsal process motivated me to explore how to further develop this performance structure. – e.g. bailey (on Arkology)

“…the idea of all of us working for the welfare of the village.” – e.g. bailey (on village blues)

“The success of last summer’s Singers of Daybreak Spoken Word Conference that featured the legendary Last Poets and the fiery ensemble, i was born with two tongues, showed how excited audiences are for quality Spoken Word.  The community has made it pretty clear in their overwhelming support that they want to see cutting edge performances that cross and connect local and national borders.” – e.g.bailey (on Jessica Care Moore Summer Tour)

“This years focus with the series borders on the influence of hip hop on our culture and specifically allows diverse communities to communicate how hip-hop’s presence resonates in their work and artistry.” – e.g. bailey (on Late Nite Series)

“I always call the Twin Cities a big village. We’re small enough and isolated enough for innovation and individual styles to happen, but we’re still in like the top 15 in terms of national market size. So we do get a lot of the commercial hip-hop. We’re influenced by it, but it’s still hard for us to get any attention from the coasts. We’re in the middle ground, and that allows for a lot of innovation and a strong do-it-yourself mentality.” – e.g. bailey, Star Tribune (on 2nd Annual Twin Cities Hip Hop Festival)

“The organization’s mission is ‘to provide outlets for innovative artistic expression that speaks of our truth, beauty, and diversity.’” – e.g. bailey (on Tru Ruts)

“The mission of MN Spoken Word Association is to foster and support the community of spoken word artists in Minnesota, and to facilitate programs and events that will further the work of the artists and advance the art of Spoken Word.  MNSWA creates programs and workshops for spoken word artists, develop and facilitate grants, and promote their work.  It would also serve as a center for information and networking within the spoken word community.” (MN Spoken Word Association Mission)

“Trú Rúts Endeavors fosters artistic endeavors that celebrate and honor ones culture and tradition.  It is an organization with several different areas of artistic expression, to express the multitude of talent of those involved in the organization.” (Tru Ruts mission)

They Say:

“For instance, Bailey, is already that. A Spoken Word, a true self consciousness is/ing as we read or hear, himself expanded into our gratified senses. He makes language live!” – Amiri Baraka

“The scene has not been host to a stronger performing poet in all that time and those who remember bailey as part of the seminal ensemble Sirius B know exactly what I’m talking about. No matter how long it takes for bailey to drop “da proverbial bomb”, it will have been well worth the wait.” – Dwight Hobbes (Insight News)

“Where Sha Cage and e. g. bailey get the inspired stamina to sustain the pace at which they produce such creativity is hard to fathom. They seem to move at break-neck speed and are always so busy getting here and going there, one day they might just pass themselves going the other way. However they do it, the Twin Cities scene reaps a strong benefit. May it ever be so.” – Dwight Hobbes (Twin Cities Daily Planet)

“e.g. bailey is particularly articulate in expressing his strength” – Graydon Royce/Theatre Critic (Pioneer Press)

“The best way that I can describe what I saw is that it was poignant. It is in fact a great deal more than a film…it evokes both a conscious and unconscious thought process within the view/participant re: the many messages/content contained in the film…As a Black man, the film came across honest––but not in a demeaning or negative fashion. I was elated that for once I could see a presentation that showed Black men (and women) as human––not some kind of Hollywood/Hollyweird stereotype…and in doing so gives it not only power but a real legitimacy. In a word–the film is unique, intense, and thought provoking, while remaining artistically both challenging and entertaining.” – Larry Pinkney (audience member) on ‘village blues’ (short film)

“Among the other noteworthy works in the second showcase are Benno Nelson’s ‘Moment One’, Freya Rae’s ‘Palisade’ and Ayesha Adu and e.g. bailey’s ‘village blues'” – Rob Nelson (City Pages)

“bailey knows his stuff, as former co-producer of KFAI’s Write On Radio! program and [part of] various performance groups including Arkology. Singers of Daybreak [Spoken Word Conference] continues his mission to create opportunities for emerging and established artists to explore and express themselves in a fully empowered way.” – Lydia Howell (Twin Cities Pulse)


“Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the arts.” – Stanislavski, ‘My Life in Art’

“Words got me the wound and will get me well/If you believe it” – Jim Morrison

“We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

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