C. Liegh McInnis, and Jolivette Anderson were three of the first prominent poets that I encountered. I was a student at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, during the mid-1990s, and I got a few opportunities to catch those three poets at work.
I attended a poetry reading at Jackson State University, where Treasure Shields Redmond was the host. That was my first year in college, and she was providing me with a template on how to host readings at Tougaloo. I caught McInnis and Anderson giving readings around the city during my years at Tougaloo. They both gave me views of artist-activists, or activist-artists.
Taken together, Anderson, Redmond, and McInnis unknowingly provided me with a variety of useful poetic templates. As an undergraduate, they gave me ideas for presenting poetry; and more importantly for my purposes, they were presenting me with blueprints on how to organize arts events. As a graduate student, I took an interest in the writer-activists and arts-organizers associated with the Black Arts Movement. Perhaps, McInnis, Anderson, and Redmond had primed me to take even more interests in "conscious" poets.
• Treasure Shields Redmond's chop: 7 notations
• Spoken Word Poetry and the growth of consciousness (in Mississippi)