WHO IS THIS INTELLIGENT POET OF MYSTERY that is taking over the New York performance arts scene? And what makes him so different from the rest of the artists out there? The name, NICK E. FINN, is coming up more often than not when searched for NYC Spoken Word Poets. Not to mention the many curators, venues, and other artists that I hear are reaching out to him to work with him. Or, the times I’ve taken long treks to see his theatrical performances with poetry troupe Full Circle Ensemble NYC at the National Black Theatre and all throughout NYC. (Not that I ever have a problem taking trains, subways, and taxis to stand in line to see him on stage.) It is sooo worth the time and cost to see this creation show you what he has created with his craft. He seems to grow from each performance. With his contributions to NYC Spoken Word Poetry and his efforts to take back Brooklyn with his one-man show (brought to you by theater company Brooklyn Gypsies), read how Spoken Word Poet, Nick E. Finn is using his voice through Performance Art in “The Last Hipster in Brooklyn.” And learn why he is Spoken Word New York’s Rising Star!
SWNY: What exactly do you do and how did you get started?
NICK E. FINN: What do I do? I am a storyteller. Poetry, Hip-Hop, and theater are the tools I use to tell stories. I blend these three art forms together to tell stories that I think are worth being told.
How did I get started? Growing up in Seattle, I was a really confused kid—an oddball. I was the weirdo who scribbled poetry in the margins of my notebook in between rehearsals for the high-school play and lunchroom rap battles. I never understood where I fit in. I was drawn into these different worlds but I never was able to reconcile their differences.
When I moved to New York City, I was exposed to mentors like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Danny Hoch, Lemon Andersen, and Reg E Gaines whose work helped me realize the false boundaries I was putting up. Once I realized I could harness my truth into a singular storytelling craft, I found my life’s work. I’m just getting started.
SWNY: What is Spoken Word Poetry to you?
NICK: Spoken Word Poetry is the performance-art of poetry. Theater + Poetry = Spoken Word. Write a dope poem, put it on a stage, tell a story. People have been practicing this tradition for thousands on years. August Wilson, William Shakespeare, The Greeks are some of the all-time spoken word artists.
SWNY: What possessed you to write your first poem?
NICK: I was in Middle School… maybe at like 12 or 13? And you know what? middle-schoolers are mean – like super mean [LOL]
SWNY: Yes, children can be so mean.
NICK: I remember writing my first poem about a bully. The poem was my way taking power in a situation in which I felt powerless. Writing is good for that… I think my mom still has the poem. Shout out to her…. She’s been my biggest supporter since day one.
SWNY: Would you say you are a writer from logic or emotion?
NICK: Both! My friend Lemon Andersen taught me that self-expression only goes as far as you can creatively control it. Of course, poetry fundamentally comes from the heart, but if us poets want our work to be heard, felt, and understood by others, we must acknowledge that poetry is bigger than just one person. That means constantly studying great poets and learning from their work, so in turn, audiences can understand what we are trying to express in a way that will fall on their ears and hearts.
This shit is a craft I work at everyday. It’s humbling.
**WATCH NICK perform for WORD@4F (@angy479):