Tag Archives: Poetry

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 #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

 

 

 

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

“Life Comes From Concrete 1.5” Pre-Order Now

12 Oct

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Life Comes From Concrete 1.5 is not a continuation of the first edition. What it is exactly is a depiction of a young man finding himself in a world where he must learn to grab it by the horns. Through personal reflections and poems, readers will able to delve into Anglade’s mind and comprehend what it was like to process the pain and heartbreak as his sister, and father disintegrated into the abyss. More importantly, they will come to realize how one moment at a burial changed the young man’s perspective on life as well as his understanding of his familial and social responsibilities.

Available Wednesday, October 19th

Pre-Order Now

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dUrmXe

B&N: http://bit.ly/2dIEP6w

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2d4W9RQ

http://www.kevinanglade.com

http://www.floweredconcrete.net

LCFC Journal #3:”Coming From Concrete Again”

11 Oct

What a few months it’s been for myself and my team as we have gone on the journey of experiencing the impact of my latest work, Life Comes From Concrete. I’ve been doing my best to grow as a person in real time while taking in feedback of the project whether good or bad all the same.

Last year, if you would have asked me my goals and hopes for this project it probably would have been a little different. I think that’s because we are all constantly growing day-by-day whether we realize it or not, therefore, the person I was yesterday  is not the same person I am today and what I could have been expecting for this project back then is not the way it was meant to be digested in the present.  DSC_0130

 

The same also applies for you reading this and whoever in whom you may come across if you take the time to put it in perspective. Therefore, I say that to announce: Flowered Concrete will issue a re-release of Life Comes From Concrete dubbed LCFC 1.5 exactly one week from now.

The work will feature brand new photography and self-portraits of me a year and a half after the original July shoot of 2014. The photos (this time around) are from December 2015 as the artwork stands as an ode to the season of Fall and also my late father. DSC_0178.JPG

My reason for this reissue is because I thought it would be cool to provide more content to the masses with new photography that would expand the experience and visualization.

Therefore, if you feel like taking the ride for the first time (or again), I certainly encourage you to do so. And going forward, I thank you all for your encouraging love and support as we continue to march further along upon this journey.DSC_0070edit

Yours Truly,

Kev Elev

LCFC 1.5 (Fall Edition)

The Fall Memoir by Kevin Anglade

Available Next Week Wherever Books Are Sold

Photography by: Divin Mathew