Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens New York, Roger Smith is a renaissance man.  His love for the Arts has led him on a journey to capture contemporary life through his artistic capability via poetry, art, music, and photography.  Proud of his roots and heritage, Smith was born of two Bajans from St. Michaels, Barbados,  who raised him with discipline and focus.  From adolescence he coined the nickname illpoet.  Back in his youth Smith began having his early works published in his Junior High School and High School yearbooks.  As real experiences came into this young black man's life, his writing transcended into the world evolving around him with topics ranging from racism, abortion, love, and other issues plauging a young adult living in New York City.

 

As time and his life progressed, Smith got married to Joy-Anne Sealy and had his first daughter in 2002.  A year later the couple welcomed their second daughter and this now gave Smith more to focus his art and gift on.  Always being talented with the manipulation of words, Smith began to record Hip-Hop songs in Elmont Long Island with RKD Entertainment.  Never too far from a pen and paper the topics of urban life, mixed with the growing hip hop culture depicting few paths out of New York neighborhoods for black youth, Smith made sure his vernacular and subject matter correlated with not only the current events, but positive messages and ways to uplift the people who need it most.  With the birth of his third daughter, Smith began a path towards recognizing all of his blessings came from the Creator and was baptized at Mount Sinai Seventh-Day Adventist Church in 2010.  Back in school after a seven year layoff, Smith graduated Nassau Community College in 2011 with an AA in Liberal Arts.  It wasn't until September of that same year in which Smith would finally get serious about writing.

 

A week after his 33rd birthday the doctor called and told Smith he had Hodgkin's Disease.  A cancerous lymphoma located in his right inguinal section. As Smith tells it, he can't recollect many moments of saddness and asking God why him, simply put he knew why.  The reason: "Because I had a God given talent that I was sitting on."  Smith believes the disease within him that slowly metastasized and spread to his lymph nodes in his abdomen before being eradicated with radiation served as an alarm from The Most High awakening him to pursue his talents and gifts as a Modern day Wordsworth.  It wasn't until the end of 2011 when Smith started back performing and reciting his poetry.  In addition to the disease's push, Joseph Chilman, an English professor at Molloy College also helped Smith hone his poetic voice and introduced him to various modern poets which would aid Smith in his writing growth and development.  

In April of 2013 Smith self-published his first collection of poetry entitled Laundromats & Lounges.  He has been promoting his first collection of poetry since, whilst continuing to be a husband, father of three, an employee for a major communications company, a 3.8 student at Molloy College in Rockville Centre New York, and creating his 2nd release Chambers of a Beating Heart which was published in March of 2015.  

In December of 2014, Smith received his BA Cum Laude in English from Molloy College where he claims he fell in love with literature on a higher level.  He is a member of Lambda Iota Tau Literary Honors Society and is currently working on more prose to reside with his poetry collections to be left to the world.  In his never ending quest and thirst for knowledge and the perfection of his craft, Smith is enrolled in an MFA Creative Writing program at Queens College.  Several of his poems have appeared in the Molloy College Literary Magazine as well as he has performed at various events at the college.  A few of his poems have appeared in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Bards Annual.  Smith has also performed and featured at various open mic events throughout New York such as the famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bellmore Bean Cafe, and Sip This.  He held his very own event in October of 2014, Birth of Artikulashunz, at the Bellmore Bean Cafe.  He performed at Wingate High School in Brooklyn New York for the Barbados Consulate for the 2014 Independence Celebration and has appeared at a few churches (Mount Sinai SDA, Emanuel Baptist), opened for singing evangelist Odayne Rhodden, featured at On the Mic at The Rack Cafe & Chill Spot in Maplewood, NJ.  Smith continues reciting powerful pieces expressing his gratitude for God's love and grace.

 

© 2015 by Roger A. Smith created with Wix.com

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Birth of Artikulashunz

One of three performances with the lovely Veronica Simone.