National Poetry Month Celebration
Lamont Carey is an internationally known and award winning spokenword artist, filmmaker, and author. In 2005, Mr. Carey began his career in the arts performing as a spoken word artist, earning him an appearance on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and B.E. T.’s “Lyric Café.” In that same year, he formed LaCarey Entertainment, LLC which was instrumental in casting over 200 actors including himself on HBO’s series “The Wire.”
In 2010, Mr. Carey embarked upon his career as a playwright and producer with two plays, “Laws of the Street” (a play he is currently developing into a TV series) and “Learning to be a Mommy,” both of which were performed at the John F. Kenedy Center’s “Terrace Theatre” in Washington, D.C. In addition to the TV series, Mr. Carey is producing and directing a powerful documentary detailing the successful transition of four ex-offenders; a story with personal meaning to Mr. Carey as he successfully reintegrated into society in 2001 after spending 11 years in prison.
Mr. Carey has received numerous awards including the 2012 National Black Caucus of State Legislators Visionary Award; the first U.S Parole Commission’s Re-Entry and Service Award and the One Degree of Seperation Community Service Award; 2008 Senate Congressional Award, Congressional Achievement Award and The Good Black Man Award; 2007 NUPSA and 2005 Poet of the Year Award.
Where do you draw your inspiration from to write poetry?
My Inspiration to write poetry comes from my desire to explain something that troubles me. An example would be a piece I created entitled, "Ineffective as a Dad." I often hear women tell stories about how no good their children father's are but I often hear the heartbreak of men who feel in adequate as a father because they can't provide financially for this child so they believe their love isn't enough. Hearing men admit this truth was so moving that I came up with the poem. It was away for me to expose a man's deepest and sincerest fear about fatherhood and manhood. It helped me understand my own fears of not always having enough money when my son was first born. So my work is created to address issues or challenge them.
What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry?
I think people should feel threaten by poetry. Poetry is supposed to challenge a person's way of thinking. It's supposed to empower people who feel trapped within them or prosecuted by society for wanting to be who they are or deny them there right to exist and prosper. Poetry is supposed to be an instrument of change. We'll at least I think so.
What is an interesting fact about you?
Spokenword helped change my life. It made me more relevant. It gave me a platform to begin discussions on the struggles of at risk youth. It provided me a voice to talk about issues that effect people involved in the penal system, to assist children that desperately want answers to solve life-changing issues and to empower individuals who feel defeated. Poetry gave me hope and I in turn try to pass that on to others.
Where are you from?
I am from Washington, DC, I still reside in the Washington, DC area.
Who is your favorite poet?
My favorite poet is One Wise African. This is the man responsible for making me see spoken word/poetry as a tool. He made poetry exciting and relevant for me. At first, I saw poetry as too complicated and Shakespearean. It didn't think it had value. Through this man's work, he showed me myself. He showed me the power of personal experiences, hopes and how words can inspire someone who doesn't read or can't read. He took me to school and educated me through his mastery of words. Now every piece I create, I aim to capture individuals like he did me. He changed my life by changing the way I use my words.