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About Ryan J.

Poet. Zombie Lover. Spider-Man Aficionado

Ryan J. is a Mercer University Alumnus, who holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Engineering and a Master's Degree in Engineering Management. Ryan began performing spoken word in 2012 after joining the B.L.A.C.K Poets in Macon, GA. After entering and winning his first competitive poetry slam that same year (Bad Mamma Jamma Slam, Hosted by A.A.C. in Milledgeville), Ryan helped to lead Mercer University's inaugural poetry slam team to the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in 2015, where they placed 20th in the nation for collegiate spoken word. In 2016, Ryan led Mercer University's team back to C.U.P.S.I. as an assistant coach and team poet. In 2017, Ryan represented the Java Monkey Slam Team in Atlanta, GA at the National Poetry Slam in Denver, Colorado. Ryan also competed in the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2017, and competed in and won the TedX Peachtree Poetry Slam the same year. In 2018, Ryan became a Cave Canem Fellow, and also won the Art Amok Grand Slam Finals, making him the 2018 Art Amok Slam Champion.


In November 2016, Ryan founded Homegrown Poetry, a spoken word outlet dedicated to uplifting and showcasing both adult and youth spoken word artists in the Atlanta area. Ryan is currently based in Atlanta, GA and is dedicated to community and youth outreach through Spoken Word and other performative arts.


Ryan has currently amassed over 900,000 video views between Facebook and YouTube, and has even performed in front of audiences such as the ACLU of Georgia, TEDxAtlanta, and many more. You may also recognize Ryan from the Season 2 Finale of BET's The Quad, NPR's City Lights, and Mercer University's ESPN Promos.

 

Electronic Press Kit

 

Accomplishments

2014 Bad Mamma Jamma Winner

2015 CUPSI Semi-Finalist

2017 Java Monkey Slam Team Rep

2017 TedX Peachtree Poetry Slam Winner

2018 Cave Canem Fellow

2018 Art Amok Slam Champion

2018 Blackberry Peach Poetry Prize Winner

2018 National Poetry Slam Group Piece Champion

2018 Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist

2019 TEDxATLANTA Speaker

2019 Frontier Poetry Digital Chapbook Contest Finalist

 

Interviews

 

December 6, 2018

Atlanta poet Ryan Jones may have felt defeated coming off of the stage for night two of the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August.

March 29, 2018

It takes a lot of work to gain recognition as an artist in your hometown, and once you’ve got it, it can be tempting to stay there and hold onto it. Atlanta poets Ryan J and Nate Mask have left the comfort of home to tour across the country.

February 13, 2018

Things get out of hand very quickly on this episode, but that can be expected when the conversation begins on personal plans when an apocalypse arrives and alternate endings to the sitcom Home Improvement.

August 23, 2017

We're joined by Homegrown Poetry's very own Ryan J and Nate Mask, two slam poets in the Atlanta community who self identify as honest. Before their tour "nobody likes us but we're here anyway" kicks off, they found time to talk to us about investing in the production, making it an LLC, and share with us how they keep their hair so damn glorious.

June 5, 2017

When it comes to poetry, Ryan Jones has got it down to a T. He is an African-American poet and spoken word artist with a mission to create a platform for Southeastern spoken word artists and poets in order to help uplift their voices.

Other Writing

 

July 31, 2018

“Almost” is the longest word in the english language with all letters in alphabetical order. It’s also the edge of every atmosphere, the thing that separates the earth from the moon, and the truth from every lie I’ve ever told you.

July 31, 2018

Where did we come from? We, the offspring of broken people, piecing their mouths together each day to cradle nothings into our ears.

January 23, 2018

It’s January 2nd, 2018.
Ashy black men everywhere are unwrapping the new packs of Lubriderm they got for Christmas, and putting them on the shelves with all of the other lotion they actively choose to neglect. In between cleaning their shoes, and actively searching for new ways to use the word “female,” (a past-time that bridges the racial-ash-divide) they hop onto Twitter.

December 4, 2017

Rewind to the last cookout you attended. Remember when Cousin Ray and Uncle Bobby were sitting around the grill, shooting the shit about how the government was conspiring to take down the black community?