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SpreadLove Portland Poetry Series

  • McQuixote Books & Coffee 1512 Portland Ave Louisville, KY, 40203 United States (map)

SpreadLove and the Portland Poetry Series welcome The Asia Project to Louisville. Not often are poets able to prevail purely on language alone. The Asia Project is a prime example of someone living their dream. Come get inspired!

Local poets Rheonna Thornton and John James will also be reading. We'll have some open mic spots available for audience participation! Both McQuixote Books & Coffee and the Crescendo Bar will be open.

$5 cover

Rheonna Thornton
This brand spanking new poet blew our minds at last months KMAC poetry slam- her first ever. Portland Poetry Series is proud to be a part of Rheonna's evolution. Prepare yourself for a rhythmic and poignant layering of powerful and sometimes taboo topics.

John James
John James is the author of Chthonic, winner of the 2014 CutBank Chapbook Award. His work appears or is forthcoming in Boston Review, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Hayden's Ferry Review, Massachusetts Review, Best New Poets 2013, and elsewhere. He holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University, where he received an Academy of American Poets Prize. Starting this fall he will serve as Graduate Associate to the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University, where he will pursue an M.A. in English. 

The Asia Project
As an aspiring novelist / astronaut / oil painter / brain surgeon / ninja, Asia never thought spoken word poetry would be his calling. But as with everything else we encounter in life while dealing with the elusive astrological joke we've come to know as destiny, here Asia stands: a spoken word artist fortunate enough to make poetry a lucrative career.

Asia's gripping words have never been less than an honest and genuine testimonial to his life. His uncanny ability to combine humor and inspiration while provoking thought and self-reflection has won audiences all over. Ranging from crowds as intimate as 40 to crowds as energetic as 1000, he delivers all of himself each time, making sure never to skim on what many have testified as one of the most jaw-dropping shows they've been fortunate enough to witness.

But it wasn't always this way.

In the early months of 2006, Asia faced a battle with cancer. With his poetry at a standstill around that time, Asia had spent the few months prior considering retiring from poetry convinced that his voice wasn't unique enough to stand out amongst the multitude of poets already blazing a trail ahead of him. So persistent was this conviction that Asia slowly began taking small steps away from poetry and towards an active search for a stable full time job in graphic design. 

He didn't know it then...but it would be cancer that would save his life.

While recuperating from surgery, Asia made a vow to God that if he became healed, he would no longer take life for granted- that there is an insurmountable amount of truth in the cliché "Get busy living or get busy dying."

Now, in the post-cancer years, Asia has been featured on Russell Simmons HBO Def Poetry and Black Family Channel's Spoken, was named 2006 Performer of the Year by the Association of the Promotion of Campus Activities, was named 2011 College Poet of the Year by the Association of the Promotion of Campus Activities, took 1st Place at the 2008 Southern Fried Poetry Slam Championships with his team MinoriTEAM and many more. Asia has had the privilege to perform with great musical artists such as Mos Def, Jill Scott, DMX, KRS-One and Dead Prez and currently hosts Mello Mondays, an open mic venue, whenever he's in town. Continuing to elevate his craft, he now tours with his guitarist and brother-in-law Jollan Aurelio and together they bring poetry to an experience that is both inspirational and moving. And what of his attempt to find that stable job? It no longer holds any relevance, as Asia is proud to be considered one of only a handful of poets who can claim they perform poetry for a living gracing one college after another with his one-man show.

This is Asia today: professional spoken word artist, HBO Def Poet, college circuit performer of the year, Southern Fried champ, Miami Master member, commanding host, Filipino born and bred, newlywed, dog owner, burglary victim, former pop-locker, fan of old school hip hop, fan of 90's rock, fan of 80's pop, avid shopper, memory collector, hibachi restaurant obsessive, Japan punk stylist, organization compulsive, peculiarly meticulous, sleep talker, #1 supporter of Red Bull Energy Drink, #1 supporter of Dunkin Donuts coffee, #1 supporter of caffeine, gym phobic cancer survivor and above all else, God's faithful servant. Okay, so maybe he never became the ninja he wanted to be but ask him if there's anything about his life he would change if he could do it all over again and his reply would be, "Not a damn thing."