Storytelling with Slam Poetry Artist Ebony Stewart (#85)

Poetry to Entertain, Educate and Inspire with Slam Poet Ebony Stewart

Ebony Stewart is an international touring poet – of slam poetry – and performance artist. Her work speaks to the black experience, with emphasis on gender, sexuality, womanhood, and race, with the hopes to be relatable, remove shame, heal minds, encourage dialogue, and inspire folks in marginalized communities. 

As one of the most decorated poets in Texas, Ebony is a respected coach & mentor, one of the top touring poets in the country, and a Woman of the World Poetry Slam Champion.

She is the author of Love Letters to Balled Fists and Home.Girl.Hood. Her work has been featured in For HarrietAfroPunk, Teen Vogue, and The Texas Observer. The only poet to perform at the 2018 Seattle Pride Festival before 200,000 people, was Ebony Stewart.

“It just so happens that I have been afforded a life where I can write deeply about gender and race and colorism and sex and those things move me because they’re things I know a lot about.” - Ebony Stewart on her story

You Can Find Inspiration Everywhere

From other poets she admires to music to movies in the theater, Ebony finds inspiration everywhere. She takes other art and applies it to how she might tell a story about her childhood, or about her current life. She says you can and should find inspiration that helps you tell your story that’s authentic to yourself.

“There are some movies I can’t go see without a notepad… there’s just all these different thoughts happening in my head about the stories I want to tell.” - Ebony Stewart on finding inspiration everywhere

The Creation vs. the Performance

When I asked Ebony whether she likes the writing or the performing of a story - a poem - better, she had the chance to explore what that really means.

For Ebony, writing is the private part of the creation, while performing is public. Writing is sometimes an act of therapy or finding clarity for storytellers. Which means it might not always be ready for public consumption.

“I don’t always ‘enjoy’ the writing of the story. Depending on what ti’s about, I haven’t decided whether I’m ready to tell it or not.” - Ebony Stewart on the story platform

Connect with Ebony:

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 The Storytellers Network with Dan Moyle publishes every Monday at 7 AM EST.

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