How did you first get involved with NWC?
I have known Michelle Troxclair, NWC’s Deputy Director, through various poetry events she has hosted in our community throughout the years. She invited me to be a coach for Louder Than a Bomb, and I wound up coaching 3 teams in my first year! Needless to say, I absolutely loved it. From there I became involved in other NWC programs like Writers on Loan.
Why do you stay involved?
Being involved with the NWC has provided me unique opportunities to operate in my talent and passion of performing and teaching poetry. It has helped develop me as a writer and as a person. Also, the amazing work that NWC is doing both socially and economically in our community makes me proud to be a part of it.
Could you explain a little about what you do as a teaching artist?
It is my job to create an environment where students can express themselves and create great poetry. Many times that comes through giving them valuable feedback, increasing their confidence, and helping them with the messages they want to communicate.
What’s the most gratifying thing that has happened while you’ve been with NWC?
I’ve had many cool moments working with NWC, but I’d have to say my favorite aspect is continually seeing students develop their own voice and increase their self-confidence through writing and hearing others’ writing.
How does the work you do with the NWC inform and feed your own creative work?
While working with the NWC, I have been able to work with a lot of talented artists and writers. From people who I consider trailblazers in the Omaha poetry scene to people with Masters degrees and a genuine passion for poetry, I’ve been inspired and sharpened by working with these individuals, and it has shown in my creative works.
What other projects are you working on right now?
Currently, I am writing my second full-length book of poetry. I am also working on a program through The Start Center that will provide more talent development opportunities for local artists in our community.