EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with TINA B
Recently, I had the privilege to speak with Tina B. Tina B writes, and performs poetry. Her craft is certainly one of the best, and she has been writing poetry since 2005.
“I started writing journal entries when things were going bad in college. A friend invited me to a poetry spot where I first heard Spoken Word. My friend convinced me to get on open mic, and after Iperformed I was invited to a slam. I was thinking are kidding there’s no way I can win, but I will consider it exposure, and practice…I won first place”.
Artist of the Week: Tina B., Who Says Poets Can Be Funny After All
About six months ago, we interviewed a performance poet named Outspoken Bean for this here column. At the time, it was the first time we interviewed someone from his genre. Naturally, after his feature ran, we received a small snowstorm of emails from other poets who were looking to be written about. It's the same thing we see whenever we write about anyone, really. The majority of them were pretty much terrible (again, not unlike what happens week in and week out). One of them, however, seemed more than deserving of the Artist of the Week crown: Tina B.
When it comes to her poetry, Tina Sylvester ’05 doesn’t wait for the muse whisper inspiration: her pen is for hire. Sylvester is an award-winning performance poet and her business, Tina B. Poetry, specializes in weddings, memorial services, and corporate events. She recently performed an original piece at the Aggie 100 luncheon hosted by Mays’ Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship.
What is performance poetry? Simply put, it’s poetry composed to be spoken in front of an audience. The performance aspect includes dramatic vocal and physical interpretation and can be enhanced with music, dancers, props, costumes and sets. It’s related to rap and hip-hop music and is regaining popularity mostly among African American audiences, where it started in the 60s and 70s.
"Tina B is exactly what you'd want a performance poet to be: observant, eloquent, charismatic and able to keep your interest long enough to make you realize that, despite all of the goofy stereotypes you want desperately to apply to the slam poetry genre, it is legit."
- Shae Serrano, Houston Press