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C heri e “ C hi l l i n’ d a Co n s c i o u s Po e t ” K abb a C E O / Fo u nder w w w. s ayes 2 p o e t r y. o rg s ayes 2 p o e t r y @ ho t m ai l . co m (520) 309-0693






Breathing life into words

“In order to have what we’ve never had, we must do something we’ve never done SaYes2 Poetry.”


“In order to have what you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

What is SaYes2Poetry? SaYes2Poetry Program and Movement is a performance poetry program uniquely suited to address the literacy inadequacies of today’s youth. SaYes2Poetry is also committed to educating the adult community by hosting live Open Mics to serve as a platform for novice poets to express themselves verbally. During the past four years, SaYes2Poetry Program and Movement have successfully trained more than 500 middle and high school students in the skill of articulacy, storytelling and verbal expression. Mission? The mission statement of SaYes2Poetry believes “...In order to have what you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.” The SaYes2Poetry mission is to introduce and disseminate the art of Slam Poetry / Slam Poetry to increase literacy among urban youth --in an innovative, creative manner. SaYes2Poetry is dedicated to empowering, enlightening and encouraging through the development of vocabulary and speech employing rhythmic, thought provoking, expressions. SaYes2Poetry aims to be all-inclusive in educating process. The topics of interest will include inspirations through experiences and highlights of motivating times in the student lives. About the SaYes2Poetry Team? The SaYes2Poetry Team consists of committed poets that perform original, intimate thoughts. The team is diverse in culture, age and experience. Each poem is written for the sole purpose to educate, entertain and engage the audience. Team pieces focus on real issues such as HIV/AIDS, Self Love, Safe Sex, Love, Comedy, Abuse, Culture, History and life in general.

CEO / Founder

C h e r i e Ka b b a ,

M BA Who am I? “I am convinced the Master of the Universe anointed me from birth - painted by the Greeks, embraced by the prophets from Egypt to Mozambique. God chose me, piqued my curiosity and it would only be less than me not to pursue my Father’s destiny, I am Slam Poetry ...”

About the origin? Cherie Kabba also known as Chillin da Conscious Poet is the Founder of the Program and Movement. The SaYes2Poetry was created in September 2004. SaYes2Poetry primary purpose is to give a platform to novice poets to express their original spoken word. The SaYes2Poetry Radio program was aired on KBOL 100.1 FM, the People’s Station in Waterloo, Iowa. Credentials? Currently, Kabba holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is the Assistant Facilitator for Prevention & Intervention Programs at the Tucson Urban League in Tucson, AZ. “Working with the youth has opened my eyes to the need of verbal expression. This is why I do what I do.” She is also pursuing her 2nd Masters Degree in Information Systems at the University of Phoenix.

In my words? The goal is to be all-comprehensive when sparking interest that inspires rhythmic thoughts from personal experiences and highlights of ones life. Its objective is to provide a platform for local poets to come and share their original poetry and to revitalizing the spirit of writing. Inspiration ... Kabba fell in love with poetry when she heard Gil-Scott Heron’s Home Is Where the Hatred Is and The Last Poets, On the Subway. Poetry is ingrained in my family. She loves listening to my sister, Poet T, her two daughters and of course the SaYes2Poetry Poets. However, her favorite Slam Poets are Triple Blak, Dan Vaughn, Dasha Kelly, HB, Kwabena and Muhibb. She quotes, “I am truly inspired by those who thirst for verbal expression.”

Motivational Speaker

Chillin da Conscious Poet

ern Iowa, Chillin chops it up with with some of Prior to a phenomenal performance at the University of North you Triple Blak, K-Love and Nico. her favorite poets from Chicago at KBOL Radio Station. I see

“Finding my voice has allowed me to discover who I am and define my purpose in life.” Chillin’

Who am I? “I am convinced the Master of the Universe anointed me from birth painted by the Greeks, embraced by the prophets from Egypt to Mozambique. God chose me, piqued my curiosity and it would only be less than me not to pursue my Father’s destiny, I am Slam Poetry ...” Inspiration ... I fell in love with poetry when I heard Gil-Scott Heron’s Home Is Where the Hatred Is. My favorite Slam Poets are Triple Blak, K-Love, Mreld da Poet, Dan Vaughn, Dasha Kelly, HB, Kwabena, Muhibb and of course the SaYes2Poetry Poets. I am truly inspired by those who thirst for verbal expression. I am Chillin’ da Conscious Poet . “I Be Dat Poet/I be dat hot chocolate cheesy-eyed Chi-town sista that flows it...I take my time donating my rhymes/to elevate your mind/I instigate and narrate literary mandates/and negate those that hate to facilitate a rhythmic debate.”

“Where I’m From is Where I’ve Been...”

C h i l l i n’ d a C o n s c i o u s P o e t p e r f o r m a n c e s

Chillin with Adama and Owie (Adam and Eve), twins off the coast of Senegal, West Africa.

“When they ask me why I write? & Why I recite? I say Why not?” Chillin

from Goree Island,

Where I’ve Been? Chillin da Conscious has performed in more than 30 states including Daksr, Senegal, West Africa. The SaYes2Poetry program has been introduced in Illinois, Arizona, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin and is taught in four Middle Schools in Waterloo, Iowa. Chillin has performed in the 2004 McDonald’s Gospel Fest at Madison Square Garden • National Poetry Slam Inc. 2004, Chicago, IL • 2005 Midwest Regionals in Milwaukee, WI. • Spoken Word Cafe, Chicago, IL • Metropolitan State, Minneapolis, MN • University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA • Hawkeye Community College Jam Fest,

Waterloo, IA • University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona • The Mill, Tempe, AZ • I’ll Make Me A World Celebration, Des Moines, IA • Whispers & Screams, Ames, IA • Juvenile Court Services, Tucson, AZ • Waterloo Human Rights Diversity Conference, Waterloo, IA • University of Wisconsin, River Falls, River Falls, WI • Mecca, Milwaukee, WI • Tucson Urban League Annual Grand Gala, Tucson, AZ • 2000-2006 Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet, Waterloo, IA • Arlington High School, St. Paul, MN • Northeastern University, Boston, MA • Soul Cafe, New York, NY • Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo, IA • Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Retreat 2004, Las Vegas, NV • Fire Sands Grill, Tucson, AZ, The Lighthouse, Tucson, AZ • From 1 Mother 2 Another, Tucson, AZ • Rising Star Church, Tucson, AZ • Dakar, Senegal, West Africa • On the Streets of Downtown Boston, Boston, MA • 2nd & 4th Annual Omer Gospel Awards, Kansas City, MO • Lady Merdean Gales Church, St. Louis, MO • Dakar, Senegal, West Africa & many more places.

SaYes2Poetry Sponsors

SaYes2Poetry would not be made possible without the financial and service support of the Talk Shop Cafe, the Cellar, The Waterloo Community Schools, the local poets, the following sponsors from Waterloo, Iowa and YOU!

D r. Mi c h a e l B l a c k w e l l Who am I? Dr. B. is the Director of the University of Northern Iowa Multi-Cultural Education Center. He primary concern is about the plight of the poor. He is he Founder of the Project for the Beloved Family. Quote ... “As long as people are not talking about it, if I talk about it then at least somebody is going to be bringing it up...” I am a Poet, a good one.

Mi c h a e l Mu h a m m a d - K B OL Ra d i o Who am I? KBOL 100.1 is the People’s Station. It is a community-based FM radio station. Operating since February 2004, KBOL Radio works to engage, enlighten and empower the greater community through interactive multi-media. Minister Michael Muhammad is pictured left with author/activist Cornel West. Inspiration ... SaYes2Poetry airs every Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

D. J. D a z e Who am I? D.J. Daze is a musical genius. He is responsible for playing poetic related musical selections at the SaYes2Poetry live open mics and poetry slams. His playlist is phenomenal. D. J. Daze has a keen sense of hearing and the genre of music selected is determined by the beats of his heart and knowledge of the culture of the audience. Inspiration ... D. J. Daze engineers the SaYes2Poetry radio show on KBOL.

Motivational Speaker

Ty ra Ne l s o n - P o e t T “I am the founder of the Nommo Conference, the African Bantu Swahili concept that encompasses the idea that there is great power in the spokenn word.” Poet T

Credentials? Currently, Nelson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Secondary teaching license. She is the Assistant Director for an Upward Bound Program and works to ensure that economically disadvantaged youth have opportunities to experience college early. She is also pursuing her Master’s Degree at the University of Minnesota with a strong focus on African American Studies and Educational Policy.

Who am I? Tyra Nelson, stage name Poet T, has been teaching and working with urban youth for nearly ten years. Born and raised on Chicago’s south side, Nelson’s practical approach to educating urban students is based on personal experience as well as professional expertise. Growing up, Nelson discovered the strength she needed to escape her own adversities of poverty, abuse, and low self-esteem through writing poetry. It was in her second year of college when she found the courage to begin sharing her work through the performance of Spoken Word. Description? Far too often, the urban student steps into a classroom where the teacher is unable to relate to or sympathize with the students’ personal experience. The inability to relate to one another only widens the gap between teacher and student and can ultimately become a barrier to teaching and learning. These barriers can often be deconstructed when students are able to acknowledge a connection between themselves, what they are being asked to learn, and the person who is expected to impart this knowledge. Spoken Word is a powerful medium through which teachers and students can express the truth of their personal experiences. No matter the subject, teachers can use Spoken Word as a vehicle to captivate their students’ attention and gain a greater appreciation of their students as individuals. Goals? • Create and Enhance Genuine Relationships with Urban Youth! • Engage Your Students in Learning Any Subject! • Motivate Students toward Higher Standards and Personal Goals! • Encourage Self-Expression as a Tool to decrease Inner Conflict!

G. M. Shirley

M z . Ga b - T h e Fe i s t y P o e t

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change our attitude..” Maya Angelou

Mz Gab and HBO Def Poet, Dasha Kelly from Milwaukee.

Who am I? I am a child of GOD. I express my feelings out loud and straight to the point. Poetry is everything to me. It helps me find myself and know who I am. I have been reciting and memorizing things as long as I was able to walk. I used to say things over and over again until I got them correct. I love the feeling of being able to recite without messing up; it lets me know I GOT THIS! Practice makes perfect and I use this is everyday life. Poetry helps me look at life with a new set of eyes and analyze personal experiences so I can grow. It is my motivation to move on and put the past behind. I am all GOOD with poetry, and poetry is all GOOD with me. Inspiration... My mother, Chillin da Conscious Poet is definitely my inspiration. I was introduced to poetry when I heard my mom reciting it on her answering machine. My sister and I memorized the greeting and began reciting saying it wherever we went. She formed a group called FVW, which stood for Future Virtuous Women. I began writing poetry when I was twelve and have been writing and performing ever since. I have opened my mind to different things and I have had a lot of experience with poetry. I have been exposed to it long enough to know how it is done. I am Poetry! Finding me? Our biggest mission is to find ourselves. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

K. A. Randle

M z . Ke e s h - T h e Pa s s i o n a t e P o e t Who am I? I am Mz. Keesh. All I know is poetry. From Day 1, I’ve been taught that poetry expresses deep feelings of the author. I’m hearing impaired. Unfortunately, I wasn’t diagnose with a bilateral hearing loss until the age of seven. At the age of 3, I began mimicking commercials, songs, and favorite raps. At 7, My mother started to practice articulation and pronunciation with me to enhance my communication skills. She believed if I overcame current obstacles, overcoming future obstacles would be a cinch.

“I want to know God thoughts...

It was! Poetry is my passion. It is a way to express HIS thoughts and a more direct form that isn’t offensive. But with MUCH emotion. I love it. Passion ... Got Passion? I do. Poetry is my way to overcome EVERYTHING. My hearing aids help me to connect with the world. I am most confident with them. That confidence has grown into passion!

Anything else are just details.” Albert E.

MzKeesh and Chicago Poet, K-Love. co-author of poem “Groupies”.

Valerie Mosley

E. P. I. P. H. A. N. Y.

(Evoking Poet Into Prophecy Healing All Nations Yearning) Who am I? As E. P. I. P. H. A. N.Y. epitomizes, she uses her poetry to help and heal all that is ailing in the community and the world. Combining song and poetry with a melodic flow unparalleled, she addresses contemporary issues with a unique flair. Born and raised in Iowa, E.P.I.P.H.A.N.Y leaves no stone unturned as she has performed at various campuses, churches, and community functions across the Midwest. Valuing education and literacy in the community she has taught poetry in an after-school program for the Waterloo Community School District and tutored.

“I am a slam poet with an agenda.� E.P.I.P.H.A.N.Y.

She enjoys slams and has performed with other artists such as Chillin da Conscious Poet and other Sayes2Poetery members. Currently she is working on a compilation poetry CD and book accompaniment that she anticipates releasing in the near future. Inspiration ... Her favorite poets include Saul Williams, Jill Scott, Nikki Giovanni, and all her Sayes2poetry family. She currently lives in Waterloo, Iowa raising her two sons, Elijah and Jelani.

A. Steffen

Am z - T h e D a n g e ro u s P o e t

Inspiration ... Everything inspires me to write, especially deadlines. Any poet who with something to say that no one has said before. Favorite slam poets are K’naan, Last Poets, Jane Doe “You speak to my soul” is my favorite poem. Who am I? Amie Steffen is my government name. I have been a poet since 2007. My most memorable moment was University of Northern Iowa’s V-Day, because the audience reaction was hot! I’m a 24-year old writer and poet who has been a writer and poet since before I knew what either one of those things was. Once I found out what slam poetry was all about, I wanted to be that, too. Since 2007, I’ve been living the dream, writing my heart and soul out onto pages grateful to hold them, voicing my pleasures and displeasures onto an audience jeering and cheering, all in an effort to help us realize our potentials. I Amz to bring the message to the people, and the people to the message. I’m Amz, and I B That Poet.

Danique Seymour

He a r t f e l t - T h e L o v e P o e t Who am I? Since the age of 13 poetry has been an escape for Danique, the now 27 year old mother of three. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI she used poetry as a way to express her secrets, emotions, fears and dreams. Heartfelt says it all. I am the LOVE Poet. In all that she writes and performs she shows her passion and love for life. After moving to Cedar Rapids, IA at the age of 15, this poet moved on to short stories and poetry journals leading to editing her high schools literary magazine and publishing poems in the International Library of Poetry’s “Harmony of Silence,” book of poetry collection. As a member of SaYes2Poetry since 2004, travel, competitions, cds and radio shows have been just the beginning.

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns all clean.” Maya Angelou

Focus on youth and community outreach has created new goals and aspirations for Heartfelt. Poetry has become not just for herself, but now includes others upliftment, education and entertainment. Poetry truly defines her life. Inspiration ... Auditioning for HBO Def Poetry in Philli, world events, my life, other poets ... Listening to Jill Scott, Chillin’, Dasha Kelly and Maya Angelou in Tyler Perry’s movie “Madea’s Family Reunion.”

D. Plum



Unpredictable - The Erratic Poet

“Achievement brings its own anticlimax.� Maya Angelou

Who am I? Dina Plum is the name I was birthed with, however Unpredictable is who I am. I love to write. Originally, I am from Waterloo, IA. I have been in love with words and stories since my mother spoke to me. Inspiration ... I am inspired mostly by everyday situations in life, including being a mom. My inspiration also comes from the other members of the group. When I hear them flow, it reminds me that its through our expression that we can touch one another. I am the Unpredictable Poet.

D. Biddle

Miracle - The Soft Spoken Poet

“All great achievements require time.” Maya Angelou

Who am I? My name is Demetria Biddle. I was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. My stage name is Miracle, because I am a Miracle. When I was 3 1/2 years old, I was in a car accident. My family was told by the doctors that I was not going to be able to walk or talk again. Not so. I am here! I am alive and well! Inspiration ... I have been writing for 4 years. I have a book published. My poetry is inspired by the challenges caused by the car accident. My favorite poet is Chillin’ da Conscious Poet. I said Yes to poetry because I love to write and express myself lyrically.

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