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Dana Gilmore is The Heart of Spoken Word Tags: dana gilmore heart spoken word word life production feature

Every artform has a prodigy that rises to the top and serves as its most discerning voice, speaking from the greatest personal depths. Think Lauryn Hill as the soul of hip hop, Langston Hughes as the intellect of black poetry, or Zora Neal Hurston as the spirit of black theater. Call Dana Gilmore the undeniable Heart of Spoken Word. Make no mistake about it; Gilmore is a spoken word auteur that has earned an incontestable place as a talented trendsetter and poetry impresario.

Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Dana Gilmore spent her youth exploring the writings of a broad range of profound poets from Maya Angelou to Amiri Baraka and Gil Scott Heron to TuPac Shakur. She began writing at an early age, and was soon earning praise from teachers and peers alike. After developing a strong following in the bi-state Kansas City Metropolitan Area, she continued writing while a student at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia where she earned a B.S. degree in International Business and Finance.

It was her involvement in the fertile Atlanta spoken word scene where she first found a larger audience, which led to the debut of her most ambitious works, becoming wildly popular and earning her the privilege to join the elite circle of poets featured on Russell Simmon's HBO's Def Poetry (Season 3). There she delivered the debut national performance of her landmark work Wife, Woman, Friend. Both critics and fans alike were floored by the powerful combination of raw emotion, delicate phrasing and mind-bending metaphors that have become her hallmark. She cemented her popularity a year later with a return visit to Def Poetry Jam (Season 4), where again she astounded the live and television audiences with her now-signature style of poetry with the sequel,Wife, Woman, Friend Part II. Soon, the word was out that Dana Gilmore showcased a deeply personal style of performance that earned her the signature: The Heart of Spoken Word. Arresting themes of romantic relationships and urban realities; it is her own vision spiritual, emotional, personal, and full of wisdom, that is reflected in an artist who is comfortable with who she is and how far she has come.

With regular showcases at National Association of Collegiate Activities (NACA), Dana has since broadened her performance experience by annually touring America conducting feature one-woman shows at numerous colleges and universities. Having shared the Def Jam stage with artists such as Mos Def, Kanye West, and WyClef-Jean, Dana Gilmore is a life spring of spoken word innovation having established herself as a true creative force. Now, with the long awaited follow-up project to her first album, Tonight...I Jus Wanna Write; Dana's new project, The Men's Room, breaks ground by masterfully assimilating spoken word into a touring stage play/musical. This collaboration of spoken word, music, and theater is a true representation of Gilmore's relentless pursuit of artistic excellence and poetic integrity. True to form, she continues to help adorn spoken word with new textures and flavors that are sure to inspire a whole new generation of poets for years to come.

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