I somehow forgot to write a year-end wrap up back in 2009, so I’m attempting to do that now, here in 2011, by looking over old website posts. Will probably miss some things. Here we go:
1. Took first place at the 2009 National Poetry Slam as a member of the St. Paul team. We performed pieces that we believed in, and we were rewarded for it. Slam is so imperfect, but it still feels good to be validated on some level– we did, after all, put a TON of work into our writing and performance.
2. Organized and performed at the very first Hip Hop Against Homophobia concert, along with Toki Wright, Maria Isa and more. Since then, there’s been almost a dozen more.
3. Won the VERVE grant through Intermedia Arts, plus won the people’s choice for “Best Slam Poet” and “Best Artist/Activist” at the Urban Griots Spoken-Word Award Show.
4. Played the SOUNDSET FESTIVAL, the biggest and best indie hip hop festival around.
5. Did a ton of music writing for CultureBully.
6. Co-coached our amazing MN teen poets at Brave New Voices, along with Khary Jackson.
7. Released two projects— the Guante & Big Cats! EP “Start a Fire” and the See More Perspective-produced “Return to Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment.” Technically, “An Unwelcome Guest” is a 2010 release, but we had the release party at the end of 2009 at the Bedlam Theater and it was huge.
8. Started serving as the Arts Coordinator of the Canvas, a St. Paul teen arts center.
9. Toured with Junkyard Empire, played a million shows, facilitated a million workshops, made a million appearances, etc. I guess these were the important things, though.