Performance artist Taylor Mali returns to Next Stage

PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project presents world-renowned slam poet, educator, and performance artist Taylor Mali on Friday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m., in a benefit performance at Next Stage, 15 Kimball Hill.

Mali, who returns to Putney after several highly acclaimed, sold-out performances, studied drama with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has put those stage skills to use performing poetry all over the world and serving as the official voiceover voice on all Burger King commercials in 1998.

One of the original poets to appear on the HBO series “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry,” Mali is one of the best known slam poets, having won the national championship four times. A former teacher and lifelong educator, he is also the author of several CDs, books, and DVDs on spoken word.

In 1998. The New York Times described Mali as as “a ranting comic showman and literary provocateur.”

A middle school teacher for nine years prior to becoming a full-time writer and global performer, Mali says his work focuses on the vitally important role teachers play in our society. His 2006 YouTube clip “What Teachers Make” has been widely cited in the press. At press time it has garnered slightly more than 5.23 million views.

Mali is the former president of Poetry Slam Inc., the nonprofit organization overseeing all poetry slams in North America. He is also the author of “What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World” (Putnam, 2012) and two books of poetry: “The Last Time As We Are” (Write Bloody Books 2009) and “What Learning Leaves” (Hanover 2002).

According to Next Stage board member Anita Dunlap, “Taylor Mali embodies the best of what Next Stage is about: brilliant, world-class, innovative artistry presented right in the heart of our local community.”

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