by Shayler Richmond
Poet and author, Darius Simpson, has begun moving with intention and found his purpose in poetry.
“I went to high school because I was supposed to go to high school. I went to college because I was supposed to go to college. I didn’t major in anything that I felt connect to. I majored in what was most interesting to me which was political science, but I essentially got my degree for my parents,” said Simpson.
Post college was the first time he found himself answering what he wanted to do for himself. In his space of discomfort he discovered that his move from Michigan to California would lead to beginning of his career as a professional poet.
“The Stage and writing poetry make me come alive and that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life,” said Simpson.
Simpson was introduced to poetry in the 4th grade when his mom nudging him toward it and since then he has been writing.
“Comfort and support can shift your ability. Creatives tend to be completely different people on their stage. However, many creatives struggle with finding complete confidence in their art. We battle with the thought of yes we like followed by questioning will the world like it,” said Simpson.
He enjoys the development of ideas involved and the release of emotion provided through writing and performing as well as the ability to connect with people provided through storytelling and artistry.
“Art reflects the times and shows how some experiences throughout history have remained similar and some have evolved. Art allows us to communicate our struggle and showcase who we are. Art is both historic and indicative of our potential future,” said Simpson.
Simpson has been actively involved in movement work for marginalized groups of Americans across the country since Mike Brown was killed. Due to his current access to resources he has shifted his effort toward learning how to intentionally use his poetry for the resistance.
“You can’t go it alone. There is no one in this world except for Kanye West that can believes in themselves enough to carry their art forever. That support and the cushion of faith and belief in your art is essential,” said Simpson.
Simpson desires for his art to be picked apart and digested.
Some of his favorite poems from his book, “Conversion Theory“ are “Clear dance floor for black boys that can’t keep still, “Outro. A better DJ,” and “19 Passenger Van,” which was written from the mix of emotions he was feeling after he moved across the country and happened to be watching a party back home through Snapchat.
The victory of his first poetry book, “Conversion Theory,” came from the joy of putting his work out to the world.
“In some ways I’m just like other poets. All we’re doing is creating and trying to write a poem that hasn’t been written. We’re writing for ourselves, the kids we were and the adults we will be,” said Simpson.
What’s your favorite poem from “Conversion Theory”? Comment below.
Link to purchase book: