Kerry Brackett (Poet Kerry B) is an award-winning spoken word artist and author who uses hip-hop and jazz influences for his poetry. Participating in open mics and readings throughout the nation, he is known for his rhyme scheme and style. His poetry is recognized to carry powerful messages, along with a passionate delivery. Kerry B is the author of the poetry books Soul Appetizer: A Sampler, An Open Table, and the new chapbook Surviving Myself. He has released four spoken word CD’s: Midnight Sunrise, Soulful Seductions, and Urban Griot, and the award-winning album Kadence of a Poetic Gentleman. Kerry B won a National Poetry Award in 2014 for “Freedom Poet of the Year.” He is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Kerry B has a bachelor’s degree in African and African American Studies and a masters degree in English & Creative Writing. He is currently pursuing his doctorate and serves as a faculty member in the Division of Humanities & Communications at Miles College in Birmingham, AL.
Interview With Winn Publications
Winn Publications: How did your journey as a poet/spoken word artist begin?
The first time I shared my poetry on stage was at a talent show in college. Somehow, my name was on the list (I think my roommate had something to do with it). I was so nervous. However, when I started reading my poem “Black Tears,” the nervousness went away. I’ve been writing/performing poetry ever since that night.
Winn Publications: Was it something you always wanted to pursue?
I always enjoyed writing poetry as a form of therapy. Initially, I didn’t have in mind that I would pursue poetry full-time. I’m glad that I pursued this passion.
Winn Publications: Who or what motivated you to write poems?
My mother gave me a book that she had to use while she was in college. “Black Voices” was a collection of essays, stories, poems, and other works from black authors. I was amazed when I read works from Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, and Claude Mckay. It was then that I wanted to be a poet.
Winn Publications: Have you published your poems into a book? If so, where can we find it/them?
I have published 3 chapbooks of poetry. They are: Soul Appetizer: A Sampler, An Open Table, and the new release Surviving Myself. I’ve also edited a collaboration project, No Holds Barred. You can find all of my projects on my website, kerrybpoetry.com and Amazon.
Winn Publications: How was the publishing process?
The publishing process is definitely an interesting journey. You write, you edit, you write, you edit. At the end of the process, you will appreciate the fact that you have created something that you can give for the world to read. You’ve sent an invitation for the public to get a glimpse of your thought process and creativity. It’s humbling to know that people are willing to read what I’ve created.
Winn Publications: Are you self-published?
Soul Appetizer: A Sampler and An Open Table are self-published chapbooks that are currently available on Amazon.
Winn Publications: Since becoming a published author, what challenges have you faced if any?
The main challenge I face is to create an even better collection than the last one. I always push myself to become a poet and writer. It’s always interesting to read from other poets and writers to pick up certain writing strategies so I can incorporate them in my own.
Winn Publications: Have you written anything outside of poetry?
I have written a few short stories, so there may be a collection coming soon.
Winn Publications: Do you have a tip that you can offer your peers (poets and writers worldwide)?
You are your own brand. No one can sell you better than yourself. In today’s society, you have to wear many hats in order to succeed in this industry. Keep the faith and keep writing. Everything will fall into place. Don’t give up.
Winn Publications: Are you currently working on any new projects? If so when can we expect them to be released?
I am currently working on more poems and short stories. I expect for it to be released sometime in 2021. I’m so excited for what’s to come.
Winn Publications: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Prayerfully, I will have my doctorate within the next five years. I am currently teaching English and Creative Writing courses at a local college, so I hope to be in leadership within that time. The grind never stops.
Winn Publications: What does being a poet/spoken word artist mean to you? Poetry and spoken word is definitely a calling. You are putting yourself out there to tell a story and inspire others. You are sharing a testimony because you have an ability that others don’t have the courage to do. Whether it’s a lounge, a library, a classroom, etc. Just share your gift. That poem was meant for someone to read or hear.
Winn Publications: What’s your favorite quote and who’s it by?
I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.~ Langston Hughes
Winn Publications:If you could co-author with anyone – dead or alive- who would it be and why?
Dr. Joshua Bennett is a great poet and writer who is currently a professor at Harvard. He’s also my birthday twin, so why not?