About Is Said
Is Said is a performance poet. Writing in a variety of styles based on life’s experience as an African American growing up in Atlanta, Georgia in a family of (11) children, Grand Mother and Grand Daddy lived in the country, so I had many experiences in country life. It’s a whole new world than any city. It’s like quiet and wholesome, fishing, hunting rabbits, working in the fields, and them too dark nights, with all those animals sounds at night. Moved to Ohio at age of Seventeen years old. Graduated from High School and joined the United States Air Force, was an aircraft mechanic Reciprocating engines (props) for (42) months. Traveled the world, Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Hawaii. Philippines Far East, Europe, Morocco, Algeria, Newfoundland, and the Azores. Traveled (36) States in the United States. Was discharged, worked as a professional pool shooter for (8) months. Got married, have three children, now got (7) grandchildren. Has worked as cab driver, auto mechanic, machinist, Government worker, self employed truck driver, postal worker, cable worker, and misc jobs.
Is Said has been an organic Gardner for (41) years, growing fresh vegetables, the earth and Poetry goes together like biscuits and gravy. Now spends the month of August in Senegal and Gambia or anywhere in Western Africa for (22) years now. Has traveled to (7) West African countries, Europe, Korea, Japan, Hawaii, Philippines, and thru out the far East.
Is Said has written over 40 books of Poetry, short stories and plays. Poets seldom know how they become a poet. I was introduced to Poetry by going to workshops for three years, with such posts as, Niki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, Quincy Troupe, Ibrahim Aljahizz, and many other powerful poets.
I have been writing poetry since 1969, have been performing Poetry since 1973. I seldom tell people I am a poet, I am still learning the art of Poetry, and it ain't about telling yourself who you are. One-way to know if you have style, is when somebody who doesn't know you tells you, “Hey, you got style”. Don't do the dirty jobs that everybody doesn't need to promote yourself. Poetry is a stepping-stone growing up to be a somebody that is real and truthfully a Poet, and suffering the pains that life lives.
From 1975 –1981 Is Said was unemployed and surviving by performing poetry, selling books and traveling all over America. New York City 42 & Broadway 1976-1981 two months a year, sleeping in cars, trying to learn how to live. Learning life at every corner, I have performed poetry for beer and popcorn, once I did a performance in a restaurant for the evening meal for two, me and the drummer, Brother Wali Neil.
My writings have been influenced by my surroundings and environment to record our history as it happens. Atlanta, Georgia born, from a family of 11 children, and all my life my daddy was always in our home. Since then I have learned much about families and history. We need History; it’s our way to tell things our way. Always read Poetry more than one time, any writer should be read their books more than (25) times. To get the correct connection that is meant when reading more than one time.
Poets must perform other poets works to see what they felt when they put pencil to paper. There is a love the connection that must be felt or gravity will pull you from the ranks of Poetry, and into the block of writers who cannot seem to get it right anymore. It is a joy to write Poetry, expressions of the soul is worth every minute of anybody’s time and they don't have to like it, respect the effort, respect the Poet.
Keep in mind when you dealing with Poetry, never try to get into Poetry, let the Poetry get into you. It’s like religion think of poetry as your rope to survival; the spiritual Soul of every poet must take chances. Giving all accounts of life and its downs and ups, positioning it to fit your own special rhythms. Poetry must have rhythm or it’s like eating dry corn flakes or eating a half-ounce of weed and nothing to drink afterwards.
Is Said has performed performance workshops in all levels of schools, K-12, Universities, cColleges, Penal Institutions, Churches, and Community Centers.
Art Work below by Wali Neal