/they are blind to the signs that the rhyme combined with the mind connects them to their feminine side / the groove slips between their thighs and makes their hips wide like mine /- Desdamona We Will Always B
Desdamona is a spoken word warrior who has distinguished herself with her potent poetry and hip hop delivery. Performing her poetry since 1997, Desdamona has been on some of the most prestigious mics for poetry in the country; including the legendary Green Mill in Chicago, the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, The Five Spot in Philadelphia and the National Poetry Slam Competition. She was a member of the 2000 SlamMN! Poetry Slam Team, the spoken word and music collective The Poet Tree, and in 2002 was one of four female poets who performed throughout California on The Bustin' Out Tour. In 2003, Desdamona was invited to perform on the Jenny Jones Show to an audience of young women, a show that was aired several times. Desdamona received the Minnesota Music Award for Best Spoken Word Artist in 2000, 2003, and again in 2004. She was a featured performer and workshop teacher at GirlFest Hawaii, a 10 day festival held in Spring, 2004, to raise domestic abuse awareness, and was named champion at Honolulu's biggest slam event First Thursdays. In early 2005, Desdamona was honored to co-write and co-perform the theme song for the Detriot Shock WNBA team, and also recently performed at the Feminism and Hip Hop Conference in Chicago.
/this is just a poetry reading / where applause is granted / views are slanted /seeds are planted .....
but rarely fertilized / because no one really wants to dig up all the shit / and no one wants to hold themselves accountable for it / we just want to spit the freshest flow / be the one in all the know / capture all the glow / - Desdamona This is a Poetry Reading
With a grandmother who is an award-winning poet, and a story-telling father, Desdamona learned the power of both the written and spoken word at an early age. As an activist, mentor, provocateur and teacher, Desdamona looks to share, discover and cultivate the love of poetry in young artists through teaching workshops in schools, as well as at Stillwater Prison's In the Belly program. She is now in her fifth year of producing the Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Evolution, a quarterly series at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis. A sparkling facet in the spoken word scene, Desdamona curates and hosts poetry events and is featured in The City Aloud, a documentary on the Minneapolis poetry scene. Desdamona has diligently been at work, alongside Intermedia Arts, on the first Midwest Women in Hip Hop Summit entitled B Girl Be (named after one of Desdamona's poems) which is being held in the Twin Cities in June, 2005. Desdamona is currently promoting her first full length solo CD entitled The Ledge, featuring inspired production by legendary producers Sly and Robbie.
/I don't write poems to slam / I write poems to find the true gift that I am /cuz each poem is a day in my life / each poem is to find my faults and get them right......right? /- Desdamona Rhyme Tissue
I base my work and teaching around the expression of self, belief in who I am, who we are, and pushing boundaries. I strive to create work that expresses my position and communicates with the listener. This is a conversation - not a competition or arena to prove that we are better than other performers or writers. This is about honesty, vulnerability, strength of self and accountability. I do not know all there is to know about writing or performing. My work comes from a very intuitive and instinctual release of thoughts and themes. My process is not the only way...it is the way that works for me.
/nobody believed that she could rock the mic right / so she would stand in front of the mirror
and recite until daylight / crafting poems that sounded like rhymes, that sounded like songs /
and she used them to pray so she called them psalms / - Desdamona triple goddess