Poets once had the reputation as prophets. They crafted poems that reflected the culture and truths of their community for listening audiences. Yet, poetry is not typically viewed as a medium for truth but something dead or too insular for relevance. Furthermore, poems that are performed have somehow lost their place in literature. This talk challenges the notion that good poetry is only experienced on paper and seeks to reconnect this literary art to its prophetic, oral history.

MK Stallings is an artist who voices his truth through poetry. Founder of arts-based nonprofit UrbArts, MK facilitates youth poetry workshops, coaches poetry slam teams, teaches sociology using poetry as a learning strategy, and advocates for marginalized artists. UrbArts acts as the fiscal sponsor for Brick City Poetry Festival and MK is a key member of the planning committee.