Q&A with Poet Tashon Hopkins

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We had the pleasure of meeting Tashon during our first visit to the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, where he performed two original poems. Tashon was generous enough to answer some of our questions, and also allow us to record his dynamic performance, which you can check out here.

1. Tell us how you came to the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe and how it has served as a creative outlet for you.

I found out about Nuyorican from a hometown friend of mine from Bridgeport, CT named Ahlaam. I shared a piece with here and she suggested I reach out to her friend Nisha who is the curator and host at the Monday night open mic at Nuyorican. It’s exhilarating to stand on stage and share intimate thoughts with people who are open to hearing them. It’s a beautiful place and experience for people who want to express themselves.

2. How long have you been writing poetry?

I have been writing poetry since I got back from my trip to India in late January 2014. (So about 3 Months or so.)

3. What kinds of themes do you explore in your work?

So  far, I explore the themes of the human experience that we can all relate to, situations/scenarios I’ve observed, metaphysics and how we are all connect and effect each other at some juncture. 

4. What does performing your poetry mean to you, as opposed to simply writing it? 

Personally I think my work takes on a whole different dynamic when I perform it. Listeners get a chance to hear my poetry exactly the way it sounds to me in my head as opposed to them reading it and interpreting the phrasing themselves. Performing also gives me the chance to evoke more emotion and allows me to become more and more comfortable expressing myself in front of people I don’t know. I think the choice to even share my work at all is a test to see if the things I’ve experience will resonate with other people.

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