Meet The Left Side Poets…

Ronald P. Clark (Ron Ton Soup)

is a 24-year-old alumnus of Hampton University with a BA in Print Journalism. A native of San Diego, California, he started writing poetry as a sophomore in college. He dabbled in it prior to that point, but stuck mostly to writing short stories until gaining confidence in the craft after a creative writers workshop class at Hampton. Since then, Clark has recited his poetry at different venues in the Hampton Roads area and San Diego. His favorite poet is a spoken word artist in San Diego named Rudy Francisco and his favorite poem by a fellow Left Sider is Terry Odis’ The Curse. Currently, he is a high school sports reporter for The Record in Woodland County, New Jersey, an aspiring screenwriter and a relationships columnist for EDGE Magazine, LLC.

‘As our words intertwined and our hearts criss-crossed Christ christened our combination the second coming of Adam and Eve’

– from An Epidemic by Ronald P. Clark

Sophia E. Buxton (QuoteKey)

is a 24-year-old New York City native born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens. Recently graduating from Hampton University with a BA in Psychology and from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with an an Ed.M. in Education Policy Studies. She has a growing love affair with the arts and uses poetry as an outlet for emotions, stress relief and fun. She is able to use paper and pen to describe how she feels when sometimes it is too hard to say aloud. Her favorite poet is any artist with a passion for their craft and the goal to better themselves as well as those around them. Her favorite poem by a fellow Left Sider is Stefano Patton’s Sankofa. Ultimately, Sophia would like to continue her academic research which focuses on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the relationship between student and administration power struggles. She plans to be called Sophia Buxton, Ph.D. one day soon.

‘Planting secret ground mines of deceit and destruction one stroke at a time…’

– from S.ugar H.oney I.ced T.ea by Sophia Buxton

Shawnon Corprew (Sublimeness)

is a 22-year-old graduate of Hampton University. She has been interested in poetry since her elementary school days when she had to memorize various important poems for teachers. She picked up the pen at age twelve and started off her career by creating multi-colored typed poetry and giving it out to everyone she knew. Some of her work was published in her high school literary magazine, and later works made it to Hampton University’s publication, The Saracen Literary Journal. Her favorite poet is Nikki Giovanni and her favorite poem by a fellow Left Sider is Stefano Patton’s Christ On The Pagan Club Scene. She currently stays in Chesapeake, Virginia.

‘I live my dreams on swing setsBut my innocence isn’t allowed hereWhen my thoughts play with the push and pull of chainsA masochist’s playground’

– from Playground Innocence by Shawnon Corprew

Nikieta Faulkner (Key)

is a 22-year-old senior at Hampton University, is working towards a degree in entrepreneurship. Raised in Lexington County, South Carolina, she started writing poetry as a creative and emotional outlet in 7th grade. As a college freshman, she searched out opportunities to transform her writing style into dynamic performance pieces. Since linking with the Left Siders, she’s performed for Greek organizations at Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University, a close friend’s wedding, and various venues in the Hampton Roads area. Nikieta’s favorite poet is a spoken word artist in Atlanta, Georgia by the name of Chase Nance, and her favorite poem by a Left Sider is Daniel Parrish’s 80’s Baby!!!. Her future ventures include songwriting and searching out ways to serve God with her words.

‘I lost myself in lettersfull of words filled with promise after promiseof all the ways he’d love me… if I let him’

– from Informal Formalities by Nikieta Faulkner

Terry G. Odis (T.O. the Soapbox poet)

is a 25-year-old alumnus of Tuskegee University, and a graduate of Hampton University with a Master of Architecture. A Chicago-land area native, he started writing poetry as a college freshman who struggled to balance academics and a turbulent family life. He discovered it to be a coping mechanism after initially writing raps and love poems to impress girls. He realized the power of words after reciting a prayer he wrote as a poem at a church talent show. Since then, he’s performed spoken word at venues in and around Chicago, Alabama, and Hampton, Va. He admires many poets, including Black Ice, Malik Yusef, Jessica Care Moore, and The Last Poets. His favorite poem by a Left Sider is Ronald Clark’s Tuesday. Currently, Terry is a freelance graphic designer and resides in Dallas, TX.

‘We rock the rings of Saturn and we push space shipssisters ripping atmosphere with switches of their hipsbrother bending time and space by the breakin’ of their fitted brimswe have supernovas for souls’

– from Silver Surfer by Terry Odis

Tolani S. Oyefule (In Due Time)

is a 21-year-old student at The Pennsylvania State University. Prompted by shyness and anxiety, he began writing short stories and poetry in junior high school. He started singing at an early age, and using both talents as a songwriter at age 18. He joined the Left Side Poets in the spring of 2008 and has been writing pieces with them ever since. With their support, he has gained confidence in his craft and his poetry. He has performed at universities in both Philadelphia and Virginia, including Hampton, Old Dominion and Drexel. His favorite poet is spoken word artist Saul Williams and his favorite poem by a fellow Left Sider is Terry Odis’ Strange Fruit. Currently, he is pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering and is on track to graduate in the spring of 2012.

‘Work Hard, Play Hard, Laugh hard, Sing loud, Smile often…..and LoveWhether it be Procreative or Platonic. Love HardLove Without Fear’

– from Thank You Mr. West by Tolani Oyefule

Daniel Parrish (No Pun Intended)

is a 26-year-old graduate of Hampton University with a M.Arch in Architecture. A native of Dallas, Texas, he started writing poetry as a freshman in high school. He started writing on love, the good and the bad. His favorite poet is a spoken word artist named Malik Yusef and his favorite poem by a fellow Left Sider is Martin Tucker’s I Can’t Lose This Feeling. Currently, he is an architectural intern for a civil engineering/architecture firm in Dallas.

‘There are two types of women in this world:Ones that are easy going and those that are going easy’

– from Murder I Wrote by Daniel Parrish

Stefano Patton (S. Velvet Noose)

is a 22-year-old undergrad at Georgia State University by way of Hampton University looking to garner a BA in English and Film in 2011. Born in Long Beach, California, this son of a Navy brat was raised in Southern California and in Lithonia, Georgia. His first poem was crafted due to a homework assignment in eighth grade but he didn’t write his next poems until a senior year showcase in high school. Those were the same poems that got him noticed at an open mic at Hampton University his freshman year. His favorite poets are William Blake and Langston Hughes and his favorite poem by a fellow Left Sider is Shawnon Corprew’s Music Appreciation. Now currently residing in Atlanta, he is looking forward to making a name for himself at home. Patton is looking forward to graduation in 2011, releasing an independent poetry book, and other ventures in literature and film.

‘Porn stars on knees giving head way to biblesNot knowing the history of relics worshippedCause relish taste so good on religion’

– from Invisible by The Left Side Poets, excerpt by Stefano Patton

Martin Carlo Tucker (Bad Apple)

is a 22-year-old English major at Old Dominion. He is a resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He started writing his senior year in high school where he was joked and mocked for asking his football coaches during the last game of an undefeated season if he could miss a practice to spit at an annual school open mic. Martin continued performing his way to a black history poetry show at a Virginia Beach Public Library where he unknowingly performed in front of a Hampton employee who would give him a recommendation the next day. His poetry is influenced by the emcees Aesop Rock and MF DOOM. His favorite poem by a fellow Left Sider is Sophia Buxton’s I Will Love You Always.

‘You always a fuck away from child support, a dutch away from prison, a beer away from manslaughter, so sit your optimistic ass down and listen.’

– from Advice by Martin Tucker

Erica Buddington (Rivaflowz)

is a recent Hampton University Graduate, HBO Def Poetry Alumnus, and rising emcee. With roots in Brooklyn, New York and branches in Long Island, Jamaica, and Cuba; she brings a diverse creativity to the table. She currently moonlights as a middle school teacher, is working diligently on her first novel, and is a few songs away from her debut mix-tape “Flow101.”

She has performed on the same stage as Arrested Development, Dead Prez, Mos Def, Cornel West, Talib Kweli, Chrisette Michele and many more renowned poets/emcees. She frequently performs at many forums and features in venues and universities all over the country.

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