Alumni, MFA in Creative Writing Program

Personal Statement

Goddard College holds an undeniable place in my writing/recording career. In 2000, I arrived with a plan of action, an objective: to explore what it means to be an artist in today’s world. I was admitted into the undergraduate program—when Goddard had a residential program— and later the M.F.A. in Creative Writing program.  I left Goddard College in 2006, with a blueprint and a plan of attack to become successful. Early on in my studies, Professor Nora Mitchell instilled in me an old saying attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” After internalizing this quotation, I took it as a direct challenge to change the world from the frontlines of my art form, which was poetry. Not only did I set out to revolutionize poetry, I set out to place that revolution at the doorstep of the world.

Shaping a revolution, especially an artistic one, is built on planning and action. It’s mostly centered on the latter, so being an agent of change was easy. I decided long ago, at the age of nineteen, what I wanted to accomplish. I started a company called Guerrilla Ignition LLC—an independent recording, publishing, and film company.  After starting the company, I started writing and recording at a rapid pace. Now, at this point in my career, I’ve recorded more than eighty solo spoken word albums and I’ve written ten books.  I began public speaking at local high schools, teaching workshops, and facilitating poetry workshops and poetry festivals. Once I had broken new ground, and established new territory within the art, I began recruiting other poets and writers to join the movement.

Goddard College helped me to hone my craft and my voice. The institution allotted me the space to experiment and grow, as an artist. Much of my early production was created at Goddard College, which helped me to develop an ear for audio engineering and recording. Intense writing workshops, highly developed reading lists, and personal relationships with students and faculty contributed to my understanding of how artistic individualism can affect communities. My time at Goddard College was used to establish a method of turning tradition on its head.