Friday, June 24, 2011

HU Alumni Collaborate to Release First Book

HU Alumni Collaborate to Release First Book

"Strange Fruit" by the Left Side Poets
Four years ago, nine poets and lyricists at Hampton University united to put together a compilation of pieces to create a show in preparation for Hampton University’s Black Heritage Extravaganza during Black History Month. They met for practice each time in the first six rows on the left side of Ogden Hall. There a bond was formed through poetry and locality and The Left Side Poets, a talented projection of their generations’ talent, was derived. Inspired by the piece “Strange Fruit” created for the show, the poets jointly created a book, which recently released on June 17, entitled “Strange Fruit.”

Strange Fruit has been reviewed by a wide range of online websites, magazines and literary arts professionals. It is an assortment of 52 poems, 45 solo pieces, and seven collaborations meant to explore the encounters of, “Youthful curiosity and adult angst produced to tackle historical preservation, deference of the flesh, religious ambivalence and the vicissitudes of love.”

Each poem captures the unique style of its poet while being guided through life’s physical, spiritual, and mental speed bumps on the pathway to understanding.

“No matter the emotion, we just want the reader to feel ... something,” said Ronald P. Clark, a.k.a. Ron Ton Soup, of the book.

The Left Side Poets is comprised of nine members including six Hampton University alumni: Sophia E. Buxton, Ronald P. Clark, Shawnon Corprew, Nikieta Faulkner, Terry G. Odis and Daniel Parrish. The group’s three other members attended Hampton University and went on to continue their education at neighboring universities: Stefano Patton, Tolani S. Oyefule, and Martin Carlo Tucker.

“I love HU for introducing me to some of the dopest poets and spoken word artists I've ever known,” said Daniel Parrish, a.k.a. No Pun Intended.

Plans are already in place for a second book, which will include an additional poet added to group. They hope to release it around the same time next year.

Support them at their book release celebration on July 9, in Washington, D.C. by RSVPing at Tabaq Lounge. Follow them on Twitter (@leftsidepoets) and become a fan on facebook (The Left Side Poets).

The Left Side Poets are:

Sophia E. Buxton, a.k.a. QuoteKey, received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hampton University in 2009 and went on to the University of Illinois where she attained her master’s degree in education policy studies in 2010.

Ronald P. Clark, a.k.a. Ron Ton Soup, received his bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Hampton University in 2008. He is now working as a high school sports reporter for The Record in Woodland County, N.J., and a relationship columnist for EDGE Magazine, LLC.

Shawnon Corpew, a.k.a. Sublimeness, recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Hampton University in 2010. Corpew plans are to attend Old Dominion University to obtain a master’s degree in creative writing.

Nikieta Faulkner, a.k.a. Key, is a 2011 entrepreneurship graduate of Hampton University with plans of songwriting and searching for ways to serve God with her words.

Terry G. Odis, a.k.a. T.O. the Soapbox Poet, received a master’s degree in architecture in 2009 from Hampton University and is now working as a freelance graphic designer in Dallas, Texas.

Daniel Parrish, a.k.a. No Pun Intended, graduated in 2009 with a master’s degree in architecture from Hampton University. He is now working as an architectural intern for a civil engineering/architecture firm in Dallas, Texas.

Stefano Patton, a.k.a. S. Velvet Noose, a 22-year-old undergrad, born in Long Beach, Calif. is now attending Georgia State University working to obtain a bachelor’s degree in English and film in 2012. He hopes to become a literacy artist.

Tolani S. Oyefule, a.k.a. In Due Time, is a 22-year-old student at Pennsylvania State University working towards a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. He is on track to graduate in 2012.

Martin Carlo Tucker, a.k.a. Bad Apple, is studying at Old Dominion University to receive a bachelor’s degree in English.
-Breana Hubbard '12

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