National Poetry Month Celebration
Thomas Hill is a cheesy smile champion and profesional hugger. At the age of 16, Thomas performs slam poetry at competitions from Washington, D.C., to South Africa as a member of D.C. Youth Slam Team.
Thomas, who describes his preferred subject matter as "queer black boys' politics," placed 1st in Corporation for National Community Services 2012 "I Am" diversity poetry contest, 3rd in the DC Youth Slam Team's 2013 Grand Slam Finals, and was on the panel for Ford Theater’s “To Achieve and Cherish a Just and Lasting Peace: Envisioning a World Beyond Hate.”
More recently, he was part of the five-member slam team that placed 2nd at 2013 Brave New Voices National Youth Poetry Slam, placed first in the,DC Youth Slam Team's Grand Slam Finals and has been named to TheRoot.com’s class of 2014 Young Futurists.
Thomas plans to apply to the University of Wisconsin at Madison and if accepted major in psychology and minor in creative writing. Until then, he'll undoubtedly add to his fast-growing portfolio of more than 300 poems.
Where do you draw your inspiration from to write poetry?
I draw my inspiration first from myself, poetry is a very selfish art and I feel that if you don't start with yourself it's easy to get lost. After I look at myself I look at the world, the environment around me, and I analyze how this environment has an impact on me and vice-versa.
What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry?
Poetry is a tool, not a weapon.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I am very afraid of birds and I made a dance routine to "Bug-a-boo" by Destiny's Child at the age of seven.
Where are you from/Where do you live?
DC is my hometown, but I have spent most of my life living in between the city and Maryland.
Who is your favorite poet?
This is such a cruel question! As of now I would have to say Jamilla Woods.
You can keep up with Thomas' latest news and performances by following him on twitter: @BlackGayPoet
Sunday morning by Thomas Hill
This whole house droops into a hangover.
Blinds make like closed eyelids.
Bodies lay in bed sagging into last night’s sewage.
Hallways groan the smell of piss.
Shriek the color of aged linoleum.
Walls are moaning, heretic chant.
Every ear in this whole house has heard,
how these walls be screaming.
Get up out of me, all these demon!
Me, too shriek for momma's ears.
Below us, Miss Margaret leads Sunday school for brown boys,
with bad mouths and hands and feet and everything else.
Momma never let me leave to learn The Lord,
says God is the only negro man who refused to put his hands on her.
I am under my bed
Hiding from a God that doesn't seek me
Waiting on a daddy who don't hate this whole house.
Liquor whispers its stench from the corner of every mouth.
No one has left bed to check on the young.
I condemn my momma of treason.
I keep her company in the art of hating herself.
What's your favorite line?