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The Poet’s Tree season finale is this Tuesday, June 22 at 5:30 p.m. on The Old Globe's Copley Plaza! Come join your host Gill Sotu and guest performers Karla Cordero, Michael Klam, Lem “Saint” Gonsalves, Joe Hernandez-Kolski, Lee Coulter, and Marjorie Pezzoli, for an epic last night of poetry live!
The Poet’s Tree, hosted by Old Globe Teaching Artist, spoken word poet, and actor Gill Sotu, is a new program that takes a deep dive into the world of modern poetry and how artists tell compelling stories using only the power of the spoken word. Each week Gill will interview a poet and discuss their poetry style, how it is effective, tools they suggest to help the audience grow in their own work, and inspirations. Get swept away by the power of words and learn how to write your own poetry with weekly prompts!
The Poet's Tree Finale event is general-admission with no tickets required.
When: Tuesday, June 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: The Old Globe's Copley Plaza and live streamed on The Old Globe YouTube Channel, and on this page!
Arts Engagement programs at The Old Globe are supported in part by The James Irvine Foundation and Qualcomm. Digital programs are supported by the Peggy and Robert Matthews Foundation. Globe teaching artists are supported by the Ann Davies Fund for Teaching Artists. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.
The Poet's Tree Live Finale Guests
Karla Cordero is a descendant of the Chichimeca people from Northern Mexico, a Chicana poet, educator, and artivist. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a fellow with Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, Macondo Writers Workshop, CantoMundo, The Loft Literary Center, and Pink Door Writing Retreat. She teaches creative writing and composition at San Diego City College and MiraCosta College, receiving the San Diego State University Global Diversity Award and Associate Faculty of the Year. The is the founder of Voice4Change, a spoken word showcase; editor of Spit Journal, an online literary review for poetry and social justice; and CFO and Social Justice Equity Coordinator for Glassless Minds, an open mic venue in Oceanside. Cordero is also the 2013 Grand Slam Poetry Champion. She has performed for NBC 7’s “ArtPulse TV,” TBN’s JUCE TV, and The Old Globe. Her poems have appeared in the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign rally and The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, among others. Cordero is the author of the chapbook Grasshoppers Before Gods (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), and her first full-length collection, How to Pull Apart the Earth (Not a Cult, 2018), is a 2019 San Diego Book Award winner and 2019 International Book Awards finalist.
Michael Klam organizes the Poetry & Art San Diego series, ongoing since 2001. He is the executive editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual and an editor and partner with Border Voices. His books include Emma and the Buddha Frog (Puna Press, 2007), The Cheapest Flight to Paradise (Puna Press, 2017), and Anything for a Dull Moment (Garden Oak Press, 2020).
Lem “Saint” Gonsalves first began his poetic journey reciting poems at his father’s church. Since then, he has performed internationally and produced several poetry albums and chapbooks and a documentary entitled Rise to the Ill-List: Poetic Journey of the Saint. His style infuses humor, passion, and ideals, which inspire as well as entertain. He has opened for artists such as Kirk Franklin, Lupe Fiasco, and Common and has shared the stage with R&B legends Bell Biv Devoe and Faith Evans, and even performed for the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana. He was also selected to be on the NAACP Image Award–ؘnominated show “Verses & Flow.” In addition to performing spoken-word poetry, he is also an accomplished host, working with VH1, Fox, MTV, and AfterBuzz TV, moderating and producing podcasts that focus on the entertainment world. Additionally, he was selected to part of the first-ever podcast for the television show “Love & Hip Hop,” VH1’s most popular show. He has recently begun an acting career and has starred in commercials for Apple and Bosch, as well as performed improvisational comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade in Hollywood. www.stayonthemic.com.
Joe Hernandez-Kolski, two-time Los Angeles Area Emmy Award winner and two-time HBO Def Poet, is an actor/poet/comedian who is constantly in demand, known for his live performances that are hard-hitting, truthful, and incredibly funny. Originally from Chicago, he takes his street cred way too seriously even though he now lives in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where he worked closely with respected academics Dr. Cornel West and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison. His first solo show, You Wanna Piece of Me?, was published by The University of Michigan Press as part of the anthology Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater. For over 19 years, he has run a youth open mic called Downbeat 720, which creates a safe and supportive space for high school performers to share their talents. His current project, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, was commissioned as part of Center Theatre Group’s Community Stories series. You can watch it at pochojoe.com or pretty much anywhere that videos can be posted.
Marjorie Pezzoli, a silk painter, storyteller, and writer, has published poetry in Palabra: Open Mic, San Diego Poetry Annual, F*** Isolation: A Tribute to the COVID-19 Experience, and thesoon-to-be-released Tea-Ku, Poems about Tea. She has been a regular contributor to The Poet’s Tree series. Her artwork and observations inspire her writings. Pezzoli looks for words that are worth more than 1,000 images. www.PezzoliArt.com, @marjoriepezzoli on Instagram.
Lee Coulter is a singer/songwriter, music producer, filmmaker, and children’s book author who frequently brings a hopeful, zoom-out perspective to universal themes thanks to his multiracial, multicultural, multinational life. Born in Australia to a Vietnam War veteran father and an Indonesian mother, Coulter has moved to and become a citizen of the United States, and has been honing the healing power of song while simultaneously living two music careers. One is as an original singer/songwriter, writing, recording, and promoting his music, including a #1 single on iTunes in Australia and New Zealand; a yearlong stint in rotation on SiriusXM’s “The Coffee House,” which dubbed him “Discovery of the Year” in 2011; opening for acts like Chuck Berry, Tom Jones, Griffin House, and Martin Sexton; and multiple TEDx performances. His other career is the non-glamorous, guitarist-in-the-corner, fly-on-the-wall, corporate gigging, wedding singing, cover-song-playing musician who works under the radar to support the original career and ensure the bills are paid. It’s the way that Coulter turns what could be seen as a setback into an opportunity that makes his music feel like a light at the end of a tunnel. Coulter continues to find ways in music—like his duet album with Dixie Maxwell, videos, and children’s books—to share the experiences and mechanisms that may help others understand that we are never alone and are always connected in our trials and triumphs. www.leecoulter.com.