Life Comes From “Destiny” (My Art) ep. 2

27 Dec

Check out episode 2, “My Art” from Life Comes From “Destiny”: A Flowered Concrete Documentary
Premieres Friday, January 20th 8PM
http://www.instagram.com/velevek

More info available at:
http://www.floweredconcrete.net
http://www.kevinanglade.com/lcfd-film

FLOWERED CONCRETE - "DREAM FOR ANYTHING, REACH FOR EVERYTHING."

In the second episode of Life Comes From “Destiny”, Brooklyn rap artist, Cash Sinatra spits an incredible freestyle, displaying his lyrical dexterity, and excellent flow all while leaving us wanting more.

To learn more about Cash Sinatra’s journey as an artist be sure to watch the full documentary coming soon, this January.

For more info visit:
www.kevinanglade.com/lcfd-film
www.floweredconcrete.net                                                                                                                            Twitter: @floweredlit                                                                                                                   Instagram: @floweredconcrete
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FloweredConcrete

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LCFC #8: “The Life of Concrete in 2016”

27 Dec

DSC_0128edit.jpgWith just a handful of days left in the year, I would just like to say thank you to each and every one of you that contributed to my growth as a person, friend, and an artist.

I learned so much this year and none of it would have been possible without you. And when I say you, I mean, you, the person that’s taking precious time out of their day to read this post.

I say this because if you’ve invested yourself into reading my words, then it is only because you have been a big supporter of mine along the way, whether I knew it or not. And because of that I am grateful and thankful.

So many blessings and great things happened to me in this year and I am eager to see where my path will take me in the year of 2017.

As I complete my final year in the Master’s English program at CUNY Queens College, I will be mindful when digesting everything that comes my way. The good, as well as the bad.

For we cannot have one without the other. We need both, not only to choose wisely in between options, but to make ourselves aware of the obstacles that lie in front of us that we may have never thought were there.

Lastly, I would just like to thank everyone who bought my debut poetry collection, and those that allowed me to read excerpts from the book in various spaces around New York City as it has helped me to become more in tune with myself as a contributor to the society.

Again, I love each and every one of you guys and I pray that your 2016 was filled with joy, growth, stress, pain, and laughter. May it have enabled you to face everything within the present and in the year to come.

Cheers to a prosperous and healthy, 2017.

Your Friend Always,

– Kevin Anglade

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of Frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

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LCFC Journal #7: “Life in The D.O.C.”

20 Dec
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Photo Credit: Haks.net

Last month, during the week of Thanksgiving, Monday, November 21st to be exact, I had the most gracious opportunity in visiting a correctional facility in Harlem/Washington Heights, New York called Edgecombe.

A colleague of mine that works in my college department named Dr. Franca Ferrari is a weekly volunteer there and asked if I wanted to join and participate. Well, to be completely honest, I technically asked to be a part of the program after hearing her mention it in passing at work.

I was more than elated, however, that she received my request with open arms and allowed me to make the trip with her.

Upon arrival, I must admit that I was kind of nervous about who my audience would be and how I’d be received. However, all of those feelings vanished when I walked into a room full of inmates that were rapping and performing their own original material.

Listening, I felt the substance as one of the guys named Hossain was spitting some potent words in rhyme couplets about his life experiences. The moment he finished, all I heard around the room were yelps of approval and happiness for the words that had just poured out of the brother’s mouth.

After introducing myself and going around the room to shake each and every one of their hands, I briefly released my own passion for rhyming and words as I performed two pieces.

The men seemed to have received it well as they all nodded their heads in approval. Immediately after, I wasted no time and began informing them about writing gigs, fellowship opportunities, internships, and blog sites to read, connect, and get their writing out there.

And so, although the men had different tastes when it came to writing as some were musicians and wanted to work in the music business, I realized that they found the information extremely useful and jotted down every tip.

After a brief snack break, the men, myself, Dr. Ferrari, and the corrections supervisor whose name was Sister Shabazz, all shared our poetry, and verses with each other to great support and thunderous applause.

And as we wrapped up, I thanked the men for participating, listening, sharing, and making my time there as a guest pleasant.

I then give them my e-mail and websites in case they ever needed to contact me in regards to the discussion we had.

Before leaving, Dr. Ferrari briefed them about a para-legal lawyer that would be visiting them the following Monday with advice on how to work within the profession.

I then made my rounds, shaking all of their hands for a final time before wishing them happy holidays.

Upon reaching home two hours later, I somehow wasn’t able to fall asleep. I think I was too high off of adrenaline and the night that I had had with those men. As I tried to shut my eyes and sleep, I just couldn’t stop thinking about them.

I couldn’t help but think that I could have easily been them. From the moment I walked into the facility, I immediately felt like a prisoner as the security officer at the front desk made me lock up all of my belongings and told me that I wasn’t allowed to use or carry my laptop into the facility.

Now I know this doesn’t even compare to what the men have gone through upon entering the program I’m sure, but still, even the most basic liberties such as having your phone and laptop in your possessions is something you realize shouldn’t be taken for granted.

The world that we live in is huge, however, there are more than nine million citizens within the United States alone, incarcerated.

Luckily for the men at Edgecombe, the correctional facility is more of a rehab center for ex-felons that have violated parole. Their term period at the facility lasts no longer than 45 days which means that they will be home soon.

All I can hope for is that these men not only take their next chance seriously upon being eligible for release, but I’m also hoping that citizens within their communities help lift and rise them up so that they all can get jobs and re-insert themselves into the thick of society. I mean, they are human beings after all right? We all make mistakes don’t we? If the answer to my questions are yes, then we need to stop judging them for their pasts and give them another chance.

I mean, just think about it. It’s all they will probably ever need.

Sincerely,

Kevin Anglade

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of Frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

 

 

 

Life Comes From Destiny (Official Film Teaser)

9 Dec

Life Comes From “Destiny” (Official Film Teaser)
Written, Created, & Directed by Kevin Anglade
Shot by Roy Diaz
Produced by Flowered Concrete
Friday, 1/20 at kevinanglade.com

FLOWERED CONCRETE - "DREAM FOR ANYTHING, REACH FOR EVERYTHING."

Each week, we’ll be releasing snippets of our upcoming film starting next Friday, with Episode 1 called, “Beginnings”. To view the episode a week early, be sure to follow us on our social media sites. Links are listed below.

Life Comes From “Destiny”: A Flowered Concrete original documentary, written and produced by@velevek (Kevin Anglade) & shot by @jackstellar (Roy Diaz).
Premieres January 20th on kevinanglade.com

Twitter: @floweredlit                                                                                                                   Instagram: @floweredconcrete
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FloweredConcrete

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LCFC Journal #6: “The Hood & Fail, Success & Yale”

22 Nov
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Yale University-Main Library, General Floor

A little over a month ago, I had the fortunate pleasure in visiting New Haven, Connecticut on a Columbus Day weekend. My reasons for heading out there was because a friend of mine whose name is Shayne McGregor, is currently in his first year of a PhD English program at Yale University. Both Shayne and I have known each other since 2012 as we were fellow undergrads at CUNY Brooklyn College.

In the fall of 2012, we were enrolled in a seminar course called Postmodernism: Poetry & Politics. In this class, taught by Professor Ben Lerner, a literary talent who happens to be a force in the publishing industry, (former Guggenheim Fellow & MacArthur Genius grant recipient) Shayne and I came of age as we learned about poetry during the early twentieth century and how it affected the politics of America’s society in the years to come.20161009_144848

Fast forward to the fall of 2013, and we both transitioned to our final semester of undergrad writing our senior thesis’ which would cement our legacy as English majors.

Since then, however, Shayne hasn’t looked back at all as he immediately furthered his education the following semester and pursued his Masters degree in English.

After completing his M.A. last spring, Shayne entered his doctoral program at Yale. I, on the other hand, am now in the final year of my Masters English program at CUNY Queens College.

What makes this story interesting, however, is that I remember being at a poetry show early September when I received a call from Shayne as we caught up and talked about Yale’s PhD program and what life as an academic has been like for him thus far. Moreover, Shayne offered me to come visit and get a feel of what the program was like since he knew I wanted to pursue a PhD in the near future.

Soon after, I wasted no time and took him up on the offer by making my way to New Haven, Connecticut via Metro-North Railroad. And once I got there, I was hooked.

Being able to walk on campus and see what the energy was like was something that I’ve never experienced.

To be in a such a space where students were not only working, but collaborating together and taking their work seriously, was truly a real sight to witness.

Shayne also gave me some sound advice about the PhD process and what it was like for him during his time of applying. I also learned how to plan in advance before taking action whenever I decide to fully commit myself to the application process.

More than anything, besides staying in Shayne’s graduate apartment, meeting some of his cool PhD friends, walking around the beautiful campus, and visiting its prestigious library, I learned more than anything that just because I grew up in a working-class household, and average neighborhood, that doesn’t mean that my dreams aren’t valid and that going to an Ivy-League institution is an idea that is unfathomable beyond my circumstances.20161009_144614

Honestly, every kid whether poor, middle-class, or wealthy, should feel as if they have the same shot or opportunity in possibly attending such an elite institution. No one is or should be exempt from this and as long as one works really hard to make such a dream plausible, they can actually make it a reality.

In closing, as I wind down my final year in the M.A. program at Queens, I know that a PhD is definitely not within my immediate future, but after my next move which is scheduled to be in effect within the next year and change, I’m sure that I’ll be ready to embark upon the journey that is life as a PhD student and when I do, no one will be in my path to tell me I can’t. Those days are over. I no longer believe that I’m just average.

 

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of Tales of the 23rd Precinct, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

LCFC Journal #5: “Section.80 & Poetry: The Definition of Rap”

15 Nov

 

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The Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst, Queens

To everyone reading this, if you know me well enough, then you know how much hip-hop means to me. You know what it means as not only a culture, but as a musical art form that influences the way in which young African-American men such as myself, live out our daily lives. For the past few months, I have been fortunate enough to run poetry workshops for teens at the Pan American hotel in East Elmhurst, Queens. These workshops have been running twice a month within the same week.

On September 12th, I remember conducting my first session at the hotel with a group of teens.

As they came into the room and sat down, I passed around photo copies of stapled poems by Tupac Shakur from his sole poetry collection in The Rose That Grew From Concrete. After introducing myself to the students and having them do the same for me in return, I wasted no time and explained the purpose of the session.

Needless to say, they were a little taken aback that we would be starting off the sessions by studying Tupac Shakur.

“Tupac? That’s like my favorite artist,” said one teen, excitedly. “He wrote poetry as well?”

“Yeah, he did, actually,” I replied, smiling. “And we’re going to delve into some of it today.”

Without wasting time, we critically began reading Tupac’s work while offering comments and thoughts along the way. At first, many of the students were shy, but overtime, they each opened up and grew comfortable in vocally sharing their thoughts about the readings and enjoyed the presence of fellow workshop participants.

Since that first initial meeting, my students and I have looked at the work of hip-hop musician, Kendrick Lamar. The albums we’ve studied are good kid M.A.A.D City and Section.80. In terms of the latter half, I remember during our second session where we talked about the penitentiary as well as human purpose.

As we read and discussed the album, I remember feeling a sense of humility and elation within the moment as the students were really breaking down and annotating everything that spoke to them within the pieces. It made me feel really good about my skills as a teacher. Most importantly, it gave me this euphoric moment that made me say, “Wow, they get it! They really get it! And I think they like it too!”

Since then, I’ve come to realize that nothing makes me more happy than a group of kids being truly enamored and invested into literature as well as reading at large. Going forward, as I continue to pursue my path as an educator, I can only hope that I will experience more moments of euphoria in which students will be truly intrigued and excited about literature. And what’s to stop them  from being this way? Whether it be on a grade school or college level? Especially when they realize that the head person in class was just like them and in some ways still is. The passionate feeling I get when professing and proclaiming the written word is kind of like visiting Toys R’ Us or a candy store for the very first time. You just don’t know where to start.

 

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

kevinanglade.com

 

 

 

 

LCFC Journal #4: “Best of Times, Worst of Times”

18 Oct

DSC_0161Today marks the official re-release of Life Comes From Concrete. And so, if you originally experienced the first edition, you may be asking what is the reason or purpose for a second? Well, my answer to you is that it’s not a second edition but more so the same one with a growth and matured vibe in terms of visual presentation.

What I mean by this is that many of the poems written were from my early days in writing poetry, and although I haven’t added any of my new material in this edition, I’ve decided to include all new and additional portraits that display me as a twenty-four year-old young man in progress as opposed to a twenty-two or twenty-three year-old one.DSC_0159

Moreover, you’d be surprised by how much you could actually learn in a year or two and that is something I’m sure that all of us have inevitably experienced one way or another. Therefore, I hope that this edition sucks more people into my story. I figured what would be a better time to do it then to release it in October which stands as the birth and demise of my father.

I’m sure that wherever his soul lives he is proud of me for the young man I’ve become as well who I am becoming. And so, as I stated in last week’s post, this edition is dedicated to him for providing me with the necessary tools to become an emerging star amongst the earth with the thought of one day joining him within the heavens.DSC_0166

Yours Truly,

– Kev Elev

LCFC 1.5 (The Fall Edition)

The Fall Memoir by Kevin Anglade

Available Now Wherever Books Are Sold

Photography by: Divin Mathew