Roger Bonair-Agard, a veteran of the spoken-word scene and a two-time National Slam Champion, reads several of his poems from Tarnish and Masquerade, featuring a live reading in Munich, Germany. His poems chart an exile's coming-of-age and an increasingly relevant immigrant's experience. Whether set in Trinidad, Washington Heights, Texas, Brooklyn, or other less-fixed locales, these poems written (and spoken) with equal parts joy and fury are full of clarity, compassion and unsentimentality.
The evolution of Taylor Mali the poet could be measured in the number of people his poetry has directly inspired to be teachers. Or the increasing cast of high school and college-age students who perform his words in forensic competitions. This is Taylor in his element: performing in front of live and writhing audiences demanding and receiving all the rough, raw, and authentic passion of Taylor Mali's poetry.