Marcel “Fable” Price
…Is a Bi-racial North American writer, teaching artist, community advocate, motivational speaker, and executive director of non profit organization The Diatribe.
Fable is the 2016 recipient of a Community Advocate Award, a 2017 40 Under 40 Honoree, and is the currently holding the title of Poet Laureate.
He is the author of “Adrift in a Sea of M&M’s” (2016) and is currently working to finish his second collection of poems titled Metamorphosis; an extroverted caterpillars guide to becoming an introverted butterfly (2019).
Fable is the first person under the age of 40, and the first person of color to have earned the title of poet laureate of Grand Rapids Michigan; a three-year tenure with already measurable successes achieved within the first year. Fable is highly noted for his work with the youth through his non profit The Diatribe; using his own stories to consume the audience and is making a huge effort in lifting up youth across the country encouraging them to unpack their own struggles.
He is known across the nation for crowd-interactive features that leave those attending enlightened and empowered.
Buckle up, prepare to make a new friend, and enjoy the ride.
Gleason is a dynamic spoken word artist whose performance style is described as a balance between humor-an understated wit- and gospel/evangelical inspired charisma. Gleason’s poetry has been commissioned by both local and national organizations, published in Chicago magazine “Curbside Splendor” and has been featured on WYCE’s Electric Poetry several times. Raised in a strict fundamentalist church, much of their art stems from the intersection of faith and sexuality. Their coming-out story was highlighted on NPR in a series about identity, acceptance, and forgiveness in West Michigan’s LGBT community. Gleason is also a singer/songwriter with a simplistic style and a unique, powerful voice. They perform stand-up comedy and acts in sketches with Grand Rapids’ beloved all female comedy collective, Funny Girls, LLC. They also the Director of Education and co-founder at The Diatribe, a non-profit organization in Grand Rapids dedicated to uniting and inspiring the youth through spoken word poetry.
G Foster II, a.k.a AutoPilot, graduated from Muskegon High School in the year 2000 and received the Wade H. McCree academic scholarship. Attending GVSU, he earned a B.A. in Communications in 2008 and has since used his degree to launch multiple Language Art projects and collective artists groups. He is currently engaged in many personal entrepreneurial pursuits. In 2015, G Foster II and his business partner co-founded River Dolphin Productions. He is also the founder and host of The Original Back to the 90’s Parties. He also founded Auto’s Tee’s and Fits clothing company focused on promoting Grand Rapids and Michigan through creative word-play and design. G Foster II is the host of a local open mic founded in 2013, based out of Grand Rapids and now has expanded to Detroit, MI. Aside from entrepreneurial pursuits, G Foster II is a dedicated artist of spoken word poetry, musician, M.C. in hip hop group Gray Theory, and community activist. Even though he has no kids of his own, it doesn’t stop him from helping the youth and being the change that he wishes to see in the world.
Michaelyn Mankel is a 22 year old writer, poet, and performer still struggling to define herself as such. She often cites academia as her first love, having fallen for speculative fiction, critical theory and radical feminism early on in life. After traveling the Midwest for varsity policy debate throughout high school, Michaelyn moved back from Kansas to Michigan to pursue her degree in political science at Grand Valley. Inspired by working and learning in the city of Grand Rapids, as well as by her late discovery of authors like bell hooks, Angela Davis, and Kimberle Crenshaw, she transitioned into the sociology department with a vested interest in the fields of cultural and urban studies. By the end of her sophomore year she had begun to collect in depth qualitative research on the local relationship between gentrification and public discourse. She planned to publish her findings prior to graduating in 2018 when she thought to move out of state to finish her doctoral studies on the west coast. But as they say about the best laid plans of mice and men… Everything changed in the fall of 2016 when Michaelyn came of legal drinking age, stumbled into Stella’s on a Mondaynight, and discovered a second love, one more passionate than academia; spoken word poetry. Two years later Michaelyn remains a semester shy of graduating from Grand Valley, but has decided to take a sabbatical from school to fully invest in her art and the opportunities she’s found to work with her community. She has performed in showcases at Art Prize and New Holland, and will be performing in The Grand Showcase featuring Andrea Gibson this October. More importantly, Michaelyn has been offered the opportunity to share her art through youth educational programming at The Diatribe. Working with students has been a greater gift than poetry itself, and she hopes to continue her involvement with the non-profit as a teaching artist for years to come.
Ericka “Kyd Kane” Thompson is a self-taught, multi-disciplined visual artist, poet and, most importantly, beacon of peace and love; born and raised on Grand Rapids Southeast Side.
For Kyd, creativity has always been a source of joy, an origin for clarity and a means for survival. Through childhood trauma, adulthood pain and everything in between, each creation allows her to fill holes, to feel whole, to feel real and to connect with others. Kyd uses self expression to generate social dialogue about the good and bad of the human experience, by exploring themes such as; poverty, privilege, gentrification, resilience and identity through community conversation, poem, installation, video, and photography.
Kyd’s work has taken her to stages, institutes, galleries and theatres including, Detroit Masonic Temple, the Michigan State Capitol building, Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill, NC, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and SiTE:LAB in Grand Rapids, MI, among
others. Her voice has been featured on NPR, WYCE Electric Poetry, TEDx, and on the intros, interludes and outros of various musical artists from all over the country.
You can find her intentionally connecting with community as the co-host of Creston Vibes: a themed open mic series and engaging young people as a teaching artist with The Diatribe Inc.
Kyd believes that her art has the power to generate vibrations that inspire, heal, challenge, affirm and provoke. She’s grateful for the opportunity to live a life filled with passion and purpose.
KFG is a potpourri of queerness, Pisces poet hatched from the floor of Lake Michigan. An award-winning writer and spoken word artist who has been featured on NPR, traveled the country on a mental health awareness tour ; co-organized the re-installation of Slam Poetry in Grand Rapids, & was on the first team to represent the team at the National Poetry Slam in over a decade in 2017. KFG goes by “they” because gender is a shape-shifter. They are perhaps too passionate about ice cream & feel most alive when dancing like they’ve got no bones. KFG has mentored & facilitated youth workshops & programs locally & across the country. They were once (& some days are still) a kid who swallowed their voice & mastered disappearance, in order to survive the battlegrounds of home. Providing physical & energetic spaces which support & validate the voices of youth waters the seeds of compassion for self & others. Every generation is an evolution, & they have so much to teach us.
Jocelyn Barnes is a dedicated spoken word artist who uses her voice as a way to find healing through self reflection, as a catalyst for activism, and as a means for reclaiming autonomy. She is part of Sunrise Movement, a proud teaching artist with the Diatribe, and she’s the current holder of the Drunken Retort’s “Soul of the Show” trophy. Community, bubble baths, and positive affirmations are in her top 5 in the long list of things she’s passionate about. She’s rooted in the belief that self love gives you the power to achieve the impossible. Her main goal in life is to empower those without the ability to do so themselves, and to always give as much love to herself as she gives to others. Every poem she writes is about being her big, beautiful, and black self. Wanna be her friend? Talk to her about your zodiac, send her pictures of cute dogs, and don’t touch her hair.
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