We are thrilled to bring back one of our favorite types of posts, the Feature Spotlight. We ask featured artists some questions that allow us to get to know them better, so that we know what to look forward to. This time around, we’re shining the light on the extraordinary Michael Hatcher, the WordSpace Third Fridays at Dallas Poetry Slam feature for Friday, May 16, 2014.
- Where are you from?
I’m from Fort Worth. I grew up on the eastside in the glorious Meadowbrook area.
- How did you get your name?
It was on my birth certificate.
- How would you describe your poetry for someone if they have never seen or heard you before?
I would describe it as “Michael Hatcherish.” If you knew me, you would think yes, these are the things he would write.
- What was your first experience with poetry? What poems or poets do you remember most?
My first experience with poetry came from My father. When I was a child he would read “If” by Rudyard Kipling to me.
- Who or what influences your poetry?
A better question would be what or who doesn’t influence my poetry. My poetry is influenced by: my family, my relationships, classic poetry, television, comic books, music, movies, people’s poetry, rainy days, people with missing teeth in the front, Scooby Doo, Transformers, Malcolm X, Malcolm in the Middle, and everything I didn’t mention.
- What was the first poem you ever wrote? How did you feel about it?
I wrote a poem about dying in the sixth grade. I feel indifferent about it.
- What made you first realize you wanted to pursue poetry?
I was at a concert and this guy was playing the piano, another guy was singing someone was playing the guitar and the crowd was in a trance because of how beautiful the moment was. I put an X on each one of those things as far as my talents and decided maybe I can do that poetry thing.
- How did you get involved with poetry?
My cousin Nisa gave me a business card from Mike Guinn and I called the number.
- What can people expect to see at a live performance?
They can expect me to give them intimate parts of my life. They can expect me to share something sacred.
- If you had to describe your poetry in three or four words, what would you call it?
Personal, honest, Michael
- What is most of your poetry about?
Most of my poetry is about my experiences.
- How long have you been writing and performing poetry?
I’ve been writing poetry since I was 14 years old. It provided me an outlet to express frustration. I started performing 3 years ago.
- What did you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far with poetry?
My biggest break was making the 2011 Fort Worth Slam Team. I learned so much from Chris and Madden that year. Also the National Poetry Slam gave me the opportunity to see poetry from different regions on a different stage. When I came back to the DFW I was a different writer.
- What do you feel distinguishes you from other poets?
I think what makes my poetry different is the fact that poems are about me. No one can write from my perspective better than I can.
- What was your most embarrassing moment as an artist?
My most embarrassing moment was last year at Southern Fried I completely dropped two poems. I was just standing on stage thinking “I wanna get away.”
- What does your family think of your poetry and do they support you?
My family is extremely supportive. They can be spotted in venues from Dallas to Boston in an effort to show their support.
- What do you do when you’re not doing poetry?
I work. I read. I do stuff.
- Which poem or poems do you love to perform the most and why?
I like to perform new poems the most because I like hearing new poems.
- Where would you like to see yourself within the next 3 to 5 years as an artist?
I would like to have more work published.
- What do you do to get ready for a show?
I listen to Lil Wayne’s song best rapper alive from the Carter II
- What is your wildest poet/poetry story?
What happens at Nationals stays at nationals.
- What has been the worst nightmare for you as a poet? How did you get through it all?
See dropping poems at Southern Fried.
- What is the furthest show from home that you have done?
The furthest had to be the National Poetry Slam in Boston.
- If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
I would perform with Jay Electronica or I would at least have Ryuischi Sakamoto playing the piano in the background because it would be dope.
- How do you think you would be remembered by people if something were to suddenly happen to you?
I think I would be remembered as someone who you couldn’t help but to love the closer you got to him.
- As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?
I want Write Bloody Publishing to distribute my work. That’s when I’ll say “I made it I made it.”
- How has your poetry evolved from your first poem to one of your recent poems?
I used to write more for the local scene. I would rhyme and write poems with a great deal of bravado. Now I write things that are “specifically me.”
- What do you attribute to your “drive as an artist”?
I got my work ethic from my mother. She will not allow you to outwork her. That’s the attitude I have. There are people with more talent but when I apply myself my drive will place me parallel with your talent.
- What do you think makes you and your type of poetry unique from other poets?
- As an artist how would you define success?
For me success is being recognized by people who value and possess writing talent. The more people who share those traits say I write well, the more successful I feel.
- If you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact for everyone what with your slogan be?
- What projects or products do you have or that are in the works?
I’m working on a chapbook. It’s titled “Things I whisper to myself in crowded rooms.
- Do you have any video links where people can see you? (Website/Facebook/email/etc…)
I have video links but I would never send people to those old things.
- Is there anyone special you would like to think for helping you become who you are as an artist?
Thank you Mom, Dad, Al, the other Hatchers, Inkwell, Fort Worth Slam, Dallas Slam, Big Will, Kahlil, James, Jason, Alexandra Marie, Sosh, Stacy, Natty, Des, Juju, Kayla, Madden, Chris, Gi, T. Odis, Mike Guinn, GNO, my Kansas family, my ZY Family, My N.O.G.E. of Sudan Family, and everyone who has supported me over the years.
Complete the following sentences.
- Without poetry, I would be:
a little more lame than I actually am.
- Poetry is:
the natural order of things
- My poetry makes me feel:
- I write poetry because:
I am human and it’s natural for us to create in one format or another.
- Support poetry because:
I said so.
See Michael Hatcher, the WordSpace Third Fridays at Dallas Poetry Slam feature, on Friday, May 16, 2014.