I am an experienced spoken word artist who has competed in National Slam Competitions, performed in spaces as varied as open mic shows, mental health conferences, colleges/universities, and protests/rallies. My work is focused on black issues, love, family, and mental health issues.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 10 - 40 minutes
What to Expect
I am very flexible when it comes to where I can perform. I have performed in small rooms, huge halls, on stages and black box theaters. As a result, the event planner can expect an artist that can adapt to the sound or spatial constraints of any room. When given a specific topic (i.e. I performed at a State Representatives' Inauguration) I can gear my writing to the time, linguistic, and thematic constraints given by the event planner. I can also provide writing workshops and icebreakers if necessary.
Kirwyn Sutherland was inspired to write poetry while watching the HBO series Def Poetry Jam. Issues of racial discrimination, apartheid, and survival as a black man discussed in the poetry of Amiri Baraka, Craig muMs Grant, and Black Ice hit home for Kirwyn. Writing poetry became a vehicle for introspection, community building, connecting with people from diverse cultures, and healing. These early writings culminated in a chapbook, self- published March 2013, entitled X: A Mixtape. The majority of the proceeds from this book went to a $500 book scholarship (Delores Sutherland Scholarship) to a freshman student. Kirwyn’s second chapbook, published by Two Pens & Lint June 2014, entitled X: A Mixtape Re-mastered contained a combination of new and old poems on the topics of slavery, racial discrimination, mental health, and biological sciences. Kirwyn has featured at several open mic and slam venues in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, DC, Delaware, Oakland and Detroit. Additionally, he was one of 5 poets to represent Philadelphia at the 2015 National Poetry Slam. The team made the Semi-finals of the competition (top 20 out of 72 teams). Kirwyn has participated in workshop/residencies at Cave Canem, Poet’s House, Pearlstein Art Gallery at Drexel University, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, and Lincoln University. Kirwyn’s poetry has been published in Tobeco Literary Arts Journal, Drunkinamidnightchoir, APIARY magazine, and Public Pool. Kirwyn currently serves as editor-at-large of Public Pool and list editor at WusGood magazine.
Additional Booking Notes
I am pretty flexible when it comes to what I need in these areas. I have a big voice so I can perform with or without a microphone in any small-to-intermediate venue. If it is a less performative and more of a reading atmosphere I would request a music stand or a podium to execute the best possible performance.
Past Booked Events
|February 06, 2017 • 8:00pm - 10:00pm||Feature at Bowery Poetry Slam in NYC|
|February 04, 2017 • 8:00pm - 11:00pm||Sounds in a Gallery Feature Performance|
|January 31, 2017 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Penola Breedlove Feature Performance|
|January 26, 2017–January 27, 2017 • 9:00pm - 1:00am||Jus Words Open Mic Feature|
|January 06, 2017 • 6:00pm - 10:00pm||ArtzScape Feature in Wilmington, DE|
I would perform a variety of different poems depending on the theme of the event. I am adaptable to any topic.
Influences & Inspiration
I have been influenced by many performance poets but especially Saul Williams, Amiri Baraka, muMs da Schemer, Sonia Sanchez, and Nikki Giovanni. My writing has also been influenced by rappers like Lupe Fiasco and Taleb Kweli.
Music Stand/Podium (as needed)
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