Ago! Ame! provides performance poetry in order to inspire people of all generations to speak truth to power and create brave spaces sustained by justice, equity and community. They believe in the energy of imagination, expression and art as channels to healing and growth.
Ephraim and Damien specialize in poetry about injustice and inequality that impact marginalized communities including intra-communal issues in Black Movements, deconstructing toxic masculinity as well as expressing joy and celebration while still in the struggle.
This experience is named after an Akan call and response the group learned while studying Pan-African studies at Kent State University. They chose Ago! Ame! For its intention to recognize the importance of community and inclusiveness for both the speaker and the listener. Following the tradition of poetry slam spaces, the entire room is invited to participate in the performance providing an atmosphere of transformative change and development.
Damien he/him/his, is a Black performance poet based in Cleveland, OH. Recipient of the 2018 Cleveland Arts Prize On the Verge fellowship for literature Damien's work speaks to the experience of being a Black father, artist and teacher in one of the countries most poverty stricken cities. He works as a teaching artist with non-profit Twelve Literary Arts bringing performance poetry in schools and other public spaces. Damien also Holds the office of Poet Laureate for the city of Cleveland Heights, is co-director of The People Poetry Slam, Placed 7th in the world at the individual world poetry Slam '17 and was a member of Cleveland's National Poetry Slam team ranked top 10 in the nation. Damien has worked in collaboration with Cleveland Museum of Art, Literary Cleveland, Lake Erie Ink, The Gund foundation, Karamu Theatre and Anisfield-wolf book awards. He has featured on Cleveland.com, Cleveland magazine, and the Heights Observer.
Ephraim Nehemiah’s poetry uses rhythmic call and response, evocative narratives and accessible subject matter to create a transformational experience for listeners across the nation. The work embraces vulnerability to share personal experiences that create necessary dialogue around race, class and gender. Ephraim is currently a program director and teaching artist at Twelve Literary Arts in Cleveland, Ohio as well as the coach of two top 10 nationally ranked teams that competed at Brave New Voices and the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational respectively. A finalist performer in several regional and national competitions such as 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam and 2018 Rustbelt Poetry Slam. Ephraim has also performed in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The Cleveland Foundation, TEDx Talks, Button Poetry, The Saul William's World tour and others.
AGO! AME! provides a wide range of workshops to meet the need of your organization. Available options below.
Participants will be instructed on the history of poetry slam, audience engagement techniques and the do’s and dont’s for maintaining a thriving creative space to learn effective methods for organizing a successful poetry show.
An informative workshop for new writers looking to build their craft and seasoned writers who can benefit from a refresher on overlooked but vital writing techniques and devices.
Through the recital of popular songs participants will apply editing techniques to performance while receiving instruction on several methods for growth through focusing on peer editing, kinestethic learning and p.i.p.e.s. (projection, inflection, pace, enunciation, stance).
A self-reflective workshop that shows participants how they react in relation to authority and what role they tend to fill in community spaces. This information is used to create techniques for how art can be used to combat social injustices related to the participants.
Have haters? Feeling agitated lately? Come express those frustrations through the ancient art of “diss” by participating in a humorous cathartic experience. Workshop will cover antiodes and the compelling usage of symbolism, personification and satire.
Is stage freight and nerves getting in the way of sharing your work? This workshop uses improvisation, interactive exercises and music to help participants with nervousness, stage presence and memorization. This is an interactive workshop geared towards movement and performance