National Poetry Month Celebration 2015
Bio: To merely refer to North Carolina native and Alexandria, VA resident Shelly Bell aka “S.B. Cooper” as a curious and talented consumer of life’s most positive energies would only tell half of the story. An award-winning poet, as well as a songwriter and published author, her diversity of skills allow her to expertly navigate the space between performance and journalism. Excelling as a truly dynamic force in local, national and now international media, her work as performance poet has led to an arts partnership with the Northern VA Fine Arts Association, a performance with the world renowned Washington Metro Philharmonic Association, and serving as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Alexandria ,VA.
1. Where do you draw your inspiration from to write poetry?
I draw my inspiration from my life story which is continuously developing. I am a lifelong learner and consumer of things that interest me. I draw inspiration from the news, social justice issues, my children, and just general observations. This is always such a challenging question for me because I feel like my answer should be more defined. I also draw inspiration from listening to music, reading, and watching TV. For me, inspiration is as plentiful and as present as air.
2. What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry?
My advice for new writers is to study your craft. Read lots of writers in order to become a better writer. Watch lots of poetry performances and theatre performances to become a better performer. Know that your message is important and necessary for the world to hear.
3. What is an interesting fact about you?
I have 16 tattoos (I just counted them while answering these questions) and I still feel like I don’t have enough. My left arm is almost completely covered. I am working to cover the entire arm.
4. Where are you from/Where do you live?
I am from Durham, North Carolina and I live in Alexandria, VA
5. Who is your favorite poet?
I am careful with this question. I don’t like to fall into the norm of revealing who I read as one of the designated greatest poets ever when there are so many great writers out there. My favorite poets are people I know and read. My favorite poets are B. Sharise Moore, Rasheed Copeland, and Jason Reynolds.
A Poet in Action
Learn more about Shelly Bell here: