Tag Archives: Kevin Anglade

LCFC Journal #14: What It All Really Means

25 Jul

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A year ago, I published my first poetry collection called Life Comes From Concrete. And as I reflect a year later, I’m noticing how long ago that chapter of my life had ended since I first wrote about it. Since the fall of 2013 I’ve started to come into my own as a young man and more importantly, as an individual. By this I mean, at the age of twenty-six I am fully aware of myself and my surroundings. As I write this I am currently seated on a plane headed back home from a vacation (a well needed one at that) and I’ve never felt more at ease with the choices and decisions I’ve made.

I wouldn’t say writing the collection was a chore or something that I found to be extremely difficult but seeing the progress I’ve made makes me happy and anxious for what is to come. When I think about the meaning of the collection’s title itself I think about journey and one’s path while on it. I say this because the ordeals that I’ve faced and the obstacles I’ve had to overcome not only shaped my way of thinking but deliberately set me onto a path in which I expected nothing other than greatness for myself.

The title of the book is metaphorical in two ways. We can look at the title as being symbolic in terms of a flower or rose rising from the ground to live full lives. Also, to connect the meaning back to the idea of journey, we can look at the concrete being symbolic of human beings walking upon the paths that they create for themselves. Therefore, it is very important that one realizes who they are when embarking upon their paths. For the path you create becomes the guiding light towards your destiny.

Over the past year, I feel as if I’ve eclipsed the meaning of the title by experiencing multiple potential paths that could have lead me in many directions. However, the one that was meant for me came about and showed me its importance when the time was right. Now, do I think that just because I know what I will be doing over the next two years personally or professionally legitimizes me as a person or validates the journey ahead? No, I don’t think so at all. But what I do know is that I wouldn’t have gotten where I am had I not taken the initiative to better my circumstance and somehow make a way for myself.

And so, this journal entry here is all about individual perspective. Life has a way of not only showing what is potentially to come but also is powerful in throwing many curveballs along the way. When I think about the inspiration of this book as well as my career as a poet, none of it would have come about had life not thrown me off course and made me experience losing my older sister Alexandra, my father, and my maternal grandmother, all in a four-year span. I never asked to be placed within those predicaments but was thrusted into them headfirst without warning. In turn, these experiences have catapulted me to become a diligent hardworking person who perseveres despite whatever life may throw his way.

I know that my story may not be of relation or in any shape or form connected to yours, the reader. Nor would I ever expect it to. If anything, I would like for this poetry collection to be viewed as a system that helps one gauge and reassess their progress and expectations thus far on their own specific individual journey. My story is unique to me as a person because it was born out of desperation. Yours may not be as dire nor should you ever think that it has to be in order to create a championed narrative for yourself. Instead, when you see the title, Life Comes From Concrete, I’d like for you to think of it as a second chance in all that you do in life. Which goes without saying that no matter what your situation is there is always room for a fresh start. No matter what ordeals you face there is always a chance to begin life anew.

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. He was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. Anglade holds an A.S. in Theatre, (Queensborough Community College) a B.A. in English (Brooklyn College) and an M.A. in English (Queens College). He is the author of the poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete: a poetry memoir (2016).

Find him online at:

www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

 

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LCFC Journal #13: Grateful for Queensborough, Thankful for Gratitude…

20 Jun

 

unnamed (1)I remember what it was like coming back to Queensborough Community College for the first time in what felt like ages. In actuality, it had only been two years and change since I had set foot on campus but going back to work there felt much different. To be quite honest, I never expected to make a return and the fact that I did made me feel as if I had gone through a revolving door. My first day back was on Thursday, November 6th, 2014 and I was scheduled to begin work at 9AM for the Speech Communication & Theatre Arts Department as its college assistant.

I wanted to make a first impression (or thought my job required that I looked professional) as I remember wearing a gray dress shirt and tie with black pants and shoes. Little did I know that over time dressing up was useless as my manager, Veronica Manoo had me doing a lot of heavy lifting and cleaning. I was very taken aback by the amount of work that was cut out for me in regards to office maintenance but Veronica was very helpful in getting me acclimated to her system and how she ran the department.

Two months into my gig I was quite content with the job as it was pretty straight forward. It also didn’t hurt at the time that the pay was fair for a recent struggling grad as I was working damn near full-time punching in thirty hour weekly and making almost a thousand dollars every other week. Although the job wasn’t in my field of English I was comfortable enough at the time to stay a while longer while I continued to search for other positions.

However, a speed bump would occur a few months down the road as my weekly hours were reduced to half the amount I had been working from the moment I first started. For me, this was a shock because I naturally thought my pay would hover around the figure I was already making, but later on, I learned that the only reason I was afforded the luxury of working additional hours was because the college assistant before me quit in August of that year which allowed me to use up the hours that he hadn’t used as a result of his departure.

It was in that very moment that I realized the matter where I told myself I needed to get the hell out of there. As a recent college grad, the sudden reduction shocked me beyond capacity and made me take a step back to reevaluate why I had even gone to college.

What made things worse for me personally was that half of my earnings was given to my mother. From the time that I had started working at QCC my mother requested that I contributed four hundred dollars a month to the household as a way for her to buy groceries and aid in monthly expenses. Although I didn’t mind the matter when my check was looking great, later on I found it to be a nuisance as I barely got by.

During the fall and early portion of 2015 I grew to be extremely frustrated with the predicament I was in. At that point I had started a master’s program and had moved up from being a pitiful college grad to being a broke graduate student. And as I had done before I was struggling to stretch every dollar I made.

Months went by as the summer of 2016 arrived. By then I found myself keeping all my money made from the measly earnings of my paychecks to myself. At this point, a full two months went by without me giving my mother any money. And to be honest, I didn’t really care to even address the situation because it literally killed me inside. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and disgusted with what I had become and my pride would not allow me to bring the situation to light. I was able to get away with it for a while until one day my mother sent me a text and asked about the sudden halt in the money she had been receiving.

Later on, I remember us briefly getting into it as she told me that I needed to move on and find a real job with real pay that provided full-time work hours. Although I agreed with her and understood where she was coming from I refused to let her break me down. As a young adult I was doing everything within my power to be one that I was supposed to be doing at the time and her complaints about my job did not phase me in slightest. At the time I literally had one more year of school left on my plate and would not allow her or anyone meddle with what I had planned.

Following this matter, I continued working at my job while going to school. However, I knew that my final year of graduate school had to have something attached to it at the end. It was really important to me that I either found a job in which I could utilize my English undergraduate degree or one in which I could pursue education either through a fellowship or on a higher education level.

Sometime that fall, I found myself landing a position as a corps member for a teaching fellowship program that would have me relocate to New Haven, Connecticut. Once it became official I was certainly relieved to say the least. It felt great to know that I would finally begin to embark upon my career and would get started on defining and creating a future for myself.

However, what I found to be tough in regards to the matter is the fact that everything wasn’t all bad for me working at the school. What I mean by that is I grew and built relationships with some of my colleagues that will certainly last a lifetime. A lot of the professors I worked with helped me grow and mature into a professional future educator by simply having conversations with me. I was fortunate enough to watch them operate as I learned the meaning of responsibility, hard work, and etiquette when it boils down to dealing with students of all magnitudes.

On my last day of work at QCC I found the ending of what was certainly a learning experience to be bittersweet. Of course, I wanted to go and move on more than anything but a part of me felt as if I was leaving something behind. I was leaving a group of people that not only helped raise me on my first real job but cared about me in such a way that impacted my framework and identity as a young man. I’m not too certain why it happened but I can still remember crying my eyes out while talking to Daniel McKleinfeld, the College Lab Technician of my department and thanking him for just existing and being an extraordinary man that taught me so much about life, history, the world, and many things at large. It is because of beautiful souls like him that my spirit enlarged and was very in tune with everything I got to experience while working there.

And so, if someone walked up to me and asked whether I enjoyed working as a college assistant for little pay and work experience right out of college I would not find it within me to tell a lie and would have to say, “no”. But if they asked has the experience itself changed you in any form or fashion then I would have to say “yes”. It changed me because I literally had to learn that sometimes life doesn’t always go as expected. Life doesn’t always hand you what you want right away or sometimes at all. Life and the experiences you get are a test. A test that determines your resilient nature as you make progress into a future that is bright but challenging. A future in which you will find yourself being grateful for everything both big and small that comes your way. It’s this reason alone that makes me thank the institution as I express my deepest gratitude. Not only am I certain that I will prosper but I have also proven to myself that I will win wherever I go. And for that I say: thank you Queensborough Community College, thank you. Because of you, I will go on to do great things. Because of you, I am grateful.

 

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. He was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. Anglade holds an A.S. in Theatre, (Queensborough Community College) a B.A. in English (Brooklyn College) and an M.A. in English (Queens College). He is the author of the poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete: a poetry memoir (2016).

Find him online at:

www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

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LCFC Journal #11: “Poetry in Motown”

21 Feb

resized_20170114_191048A little over a month ago, I was able to visit Detroit, Michigan for the first time on a poetry tour called #AmINext.

#AmINext is a poetry show created by social worker, poet and social justice advocate, Felicia Henry.

Ms. Henry created the show as well as her non-profit organization, “Behind The Walls, Between The Lines” in 2015 and brought a collection of artists together to build awareness around mass incarceration, gentrification, socioeconomic disenfranchisement, and police brutality.

Because I am truly passionate about the topics of social justice on a grand scale, I was more than excited on the evening of Friday, January 13th when me and the other artists crammed ourselves inside of a sea blue van and made our way to Motown.

Throughout the entire journey, I had a great time socializing with the other artists while getting to know them better. Although I had already done two show dates with many of my tour mates, I learned that people we often encounter through work or business related circumstances have more layers to them that can’t be dissected or figured within a span of a two-hour time crunch when performing on a show.

And so, the following day we arrived in Detroit, sleepy, but happy that we had made it safely and in one piece.

After getting ourselves situated and settled within our hotel rooms, it was then time for rehearsal in one of its conference rooms. We made our way through every single performance piece expected and scheduled for the evening’s show.

Once we were confident in our poems and songs, we all departed towards the van and headed to the venue where we were scheduled to perform at called The Jam Handy.

At the event, many people came from various parts of the city in order to watch us perform. A lot of this stemmed from Ms. Henry having and maintaining connections from graduate school which were instrumental in aiding us secure the performance.

After a successful event, we went to Applebees and celebrated the evening with a group dinner. And so, dinner for me was a truly remarkable moment. Hearing the conversations of other artists and how their creative endeavors intersected their morals, values, and professional work and aspirations seriously made me appreciate the great energy surrounding me .

I say that to say often times people are so invested within the work that they do that they tend to forget there are many people who want/do the same work that they find themselves in. It honestly humbled me to hear my peers talking about what undergraduate schools they attended, what major they studied, future plans of advanced study, teaching pedagogy etc.

As I sat there entranced by everyone’s conversations I proceeded to ask myself: Why aren’t we portrayed more positively?

There are many talented, intelligent, and gifted people within the world doing groundbreaking and admirable work. There should be no reason as to why we aren’t spotlighted, celebrated, and appreciated for our achievements and our all-inclusive goals that plan to better the society.

What I took from that moment of us getting to know each other better is that we all wanted to be there because we understood that the fight we are in is bigger than us. Way bigger. The purpose of that entire weekend was to remind ourselves that social justice is important and by doing work that affects the way people think within the processing of our realities, only then can we go about devising any forward thinking solutions to bring about systemic change.

In parting,  I ended up learning a lot about myself while on the road in Detroit. Because of it, I can only hope that more road trips through poetry performances with “Behind The Wall, Between The Lines”will provide us artists with more solutions  for the betterment of it going forward.

A major thanks goes out to Ife Nira, Leah James, Jherelle Benn, Alia Pierre, Ashley Clarke, Zachary Durham, and Felicia Henry for allowing me to share the moment with them.

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

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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 the recently published debut poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete: a poetry memoir (2016).

Find him online at:

www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

LCFC Journal #10: “Reflecting in 6” (A Postlude)

26 Jan
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Observing the journey over the last half year.

 

It’s been six months since the initial release of Life Comes From Concrete and since then I’ve thought a lot about what it means to write a book and unveil it to the public. When writing, I’m not usually conscious of what the content will do for others. First and foremost, I think of myself and what I would personally take away from it.

Maybe its because writing is a form of documentation in which one’s most sincere thoughts are shared on paper.

The act of penning thoughts that confesses what someone may or may not have ever thought to share with others is truly an act of intimacy. Therefore, something that’s been on my mind for a while now is whether my collection was able to arouse the emotions and feelings of others. Was anyone able to relate? Did the writing move them? Overall, how does it enable one to go about living out their lives, especially, as a young adult within America’s society?

The only thing I wanted to accomplish with this memoir was to have people feel something. And for the reason of feeling, I figured that if I had a story to provide context and background information to each and every poem included, it would evoke a form of expression that would be personable for the reader.

That’s all I ever wanted to accomplish with the collection and its counterpart in 1.5. These two editions are essential in providing a story of a young man’s journey, and are unique as they both aim in establishing a particular tone and mood when reading them. In essence, what is your story? Everyone has one and I believe it’s imperative that you share yours as well.

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

LCFC Journal #9: “LCFD”- Intersecting Journeys

20 Jan

IMG_0100In December of 2014, an idea popped into my head about creating a documentary. The first thing that came to mind was shooting a film that visually displayed my literary story of Life Comes From Concrete on screen. However, the more I thought about it, the idea and concept of this documentary changed significantly.

I then proceeded to ask myself: “What would the story be like if I followed the journey of fellow young artists/creatives on the path of turning their dreams into reality just as I intend for myself?”IMG_0160

From there, I told my friend Roy, a DP/video editor about my ideas for the project and asked him if he’d be willing to shoot it with me. He immediately obliged and the summer of 2015 turned into one of the most exhilarating summers that I have ever experienced.

The documentary was shot from June of that year up until the closing days of July and every step of the way I was amazed by the stories of each and every artist that I had reached out to interview.IMG_0056

Ultimately, what it taught me was that although everyone’s journey is different, it ends up being one in the same as everyone on earth has one mutual common goal and that is what we believe to be our “destiny”.

The result of this documentary furthered my belief in the project’s concept and that I had done the right thing in naming my poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete.

 

PS. I hope you enjoy this film with an open mind and heart. This one in particular isn’t just my story, but the stories of others in similar fashion chasing their dreams…IMG_0184

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

Life Comes From “Destiny”

A Mini-Documentary About

The Journey of Artists & The Paths They’ve Created

Directed by: Jack Stellar

Starring
Raheem “Cash Sinatra” Wharton
Nick “Alexander” Anglade
Juan Bayon
Charbrielle Parker
Shola Gbemi
Chris “The Artkitech” Brown
Joshua “J La Sol” King
Jonathan Oke
Kevin Anglade

Created by: Kevin Anglade                                                                                                                   Written by: Kevin Anglade                                                                                                             Executive Producer: Kevin Anglade                                                                                            Produced by: Flowered Concrete & Jack Stellar Films
Camera/Video Editor: Neil Diaz
Management: Mia Hill
Advisor: Emir Fils-Aime                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Original Music By:                                                                                                                                         Chris The Artkitech                                                                                                                             Zachary Durham                                                                                                                                     Suupa                                                                                                                                                             Cash Sinatra                                                                                                                                                  Jam Young                                                                                                                                                     The Social Experiment                                                                                                                        Chance The Rapper

Special Thanks To:

Light                                                                                                                                                        Michael “Big Mike” Wharton
Kerry Freycinet
Aaron Gilgeous
Erik Johnson
Michael “Mikey” Cook

LoudER Records
Artkitechuals                                                                                                                                                            Sus Life

Queens College, CUNY                                                                                                                       Brooklyn College, CUNY
New York City (All Five Boroughs)

 

Also Streaming on YouTube

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

 

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

22 Nov
20161009_143359

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