Crystal Valentine is a powerful, poignant voice in slam poetry who hasn’t always felt the confidence to share her poems and sentiments.
As a child, Valentine was shy and slow to share her sentiments, but quickly learned the power and gratification that comes with sharing her talent for spinning language—as well as the immediately gratifying and rewarding nature of live feedback at performances. Valentine’s growing success as a writer, poet, and performer is a testament to how big of a difference confidence is in sharing your narrative.
“I think poetry is extremely effective,” said Valentine in an interview with the Daily Beast. “When they hear my poetry, they can hear the emotion behind it. They really understand the circumstances and what’s at stake. It may hard to hear a 10-minute speech, but poetry is a very hard, intense way to get my message across.”
Watch Valentine’s award-winning poem “To Be Black and Woman and Alive” alongside slam poet Aaliyah Jihad here.