Lawrence “NSAA” Dinkins is a Renaissance man: Veteran Poet, Poetry Show Host, Blogger, Recording artist, photographer, graphic designer, podcaster, entrepreneur and book author. A Detroit native, his portfolio life has made him an active artist in the Sacramento art and poetry scene. He appears in June’s Issue of Iambic.
His latest event is Poet vs. Band on June 11, 2017 At Gold Lion Arts (2733 Riverside Blvd) at 3pm – 6pm. The event will be filled with poets and musicians & will be celebrating NSAA birthday. For more information, visit his website: http://www.nsaa360.com
This is part 1 of our interview where we discusses his poetical Journey:
So, how long have you been doing poetry? When did you become a poetry show host?
I guess I started around 2009. The Sacramento urban poetry scene was slowing down. A lot of my favorite poetry spots was thinning out and falling off. Me becoming a host wasn’t about ego thinking, “I’m a poetry pillar” but instead it was an act of desperation. It was a finger in the dike. I didn’t know if I could save poetry at Mahogany but it was worth a try. So, I offered to host a Wednesday. I mean if one or two people are coming out I can host that. But we survived the drought and Khiry (Khiry Malik, founder of Mahogany Poetry Series) brought on more host. I am very proud to say that I helped save Mahogany in some small way. We also must give much love Zion and Queen Sheba for allowing Mahogany to stay there after they took over that location.
Do you enjoy form or academic poetry (sonnets, odes, Villanelle) or free verse?
I think all forms have their value. We are living in such an open time thankful to those like the beat poets that smashed the poetry rules making free verse a more acceptable poetry style. My love is free verse, of course. But occasionally, I write in form.
Did you perform or publish poetry in Detroit? If so, how were the poetry spots difference from Sacramento scene?
I didn’t start coming out as a poet until I got here in Sacramento.
As a sketch artist, how does it compliment your poetry?
Sketching allows you to really look at things, as does all art forms. But for me sketching allows me to really see things. You might say something is beautiful or interesting but what makes that something appealing to you. When you try to sketch it and really capture what it is that draw you to a subject you’re mind switches. In figure drawing class, you learn this. Nudity in public is a taboo because of its link to sexuality but in figure drawing class something interesting happens in your brain, a trigger, and you start to see the human body more than a sexual or shameful object but as something beautiful and difficult to capture.
You are known as a Poet veteran in the Sacramento Poetry community like Bob Stanley, Sean King, and Indigo Moor. But, you are still more active than them in streets and corporate realms. Why?
I don’t see myself as more active. Bob (Bob Stanley, president of Sacramento Poetry center) is everywhere. What I’m saying is that we just don’t know what they are doing, there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. Now I will say I’m a grass root poet or a poet on the street. I believe in poetry, I believe in art, that it should be accessible, have meaning, help in some way. Theater, dance, visual, short story, storytelling, spoken and written poetry, song all the art forms should elevate, imagine, reflect, solve the human experience and plight. What does it mean to be human, right now? Who are you, right now? As an artist, this is what I reach for. The other poets you mention are doing that in their own way, probably in a better way than I am.