Marcel “Fable” Price
Fable is a North American writer, teaching artist, community advocate, motivational speaker, and is Executive Director of The Diatribe.
Fable is the 2016 recipient of a Community Advocate Award, a 2017 40 Under 40 Honoree, and is a 2020 Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses Black Bottom Community Builder Award winner, and was the 2017-2020 Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, MI.
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 New American Monarch; an extroverted caterpillars guide to becoming an introverted butterfly. Among other goals, Fable hopes to launch a youth center focused on preforming arts, writing, and community advocacy in the 49507.
As the youngest, first person without a college degree, and only person of color to hold the title of Poet Laureate in Grand Rapids, MI his work has been heavily influenced by contorting personal experiences into a kaleidoscope used to examine glass ceilings for points of fragility
He lives to be a beacon of vulnerability for those that can relate to his work.
His work has previously been used by PBS, The Flynn Foundation, Mental Health America, and Habitat for Humanity. His poems have appeared in Missouri Review, The Grand Rapids Grass Roots Anthology, The Spoon Knife Anthology, Button Poetry, and Write About Now.
Connection To GR, Thoughts on Liberation, Reclamation
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I moved to Grand Rapids in 2009, because I honestly needed to hit reset on my life. At the time, I was driving weekly to Grand Rapids to experience an Open Mic that really have me my first sense of belonging outside of my close friend groups. I moved to Grand Rapids because I was about to get Evicted from my apartment in Kalamazoo, I was falling deeper into self-destructive behavior, and I was climbing deeper into debt with each passing month.
Grand Rapids at first, was a major culture shock – but not in a positive way. In Ypsi, Ann Arbor, and even in Kalamazoo I felt like diverse spaces were not something I had to strive for – in Grand Rapids, that was not the case. But, I soon realized that if you wanted organic and powerful spaces here – you simply had to create them. The lack of what existed here, originally glued me to this city. The people were amazing, the resources weren’t abundant, but they felt like they could one day be within reach, and the possibilities seemed endless. With the possibilities seeming limitless, being so close to the lakeshore, nature, and with a growing group of truly amazing people around me, I knew this was the place I wanted to call “home” and plant my roots. Honestly, Grand Rapid is my home. I take a lot of pride in being a “local” but when it comes to where I am from, I was/am truly a pure Michigan kid. I was born in Lansing, grew-up in Kalamazoo, I was raised in Ypsi, and now I proudly call Grand Rapids home.
In my mind Liberation is about the shedding of chains, not only individually but collectively. I think liberation work, liberated art, and our journey to living truly liberated lives; begins with breaking away from social norms and unfair expectations rooted oppression. Be that oppressive living situations, relationship dynamics, careers, governments, ideas of sexuality, opinions on gender identity, unhealthy communication styles, or a culture that opposes rest – we need to shatter these false expectations and the pressures reach these unreal standards if we are going to truly shed our shackles.
Reclamation in my opinion is about taking back what has been and should be collectively “ours”, be that neighborhoods that individuals fled from because they couldn’t imagine themselves as “equal” to those they saw as less as themselves, or working to capture what we never were truly given a fair opportunity to grasp in the first place. Reclamation is an important act, that trickles into so many other important areas that entice us with the vision of living liberated lives, places such as representation, reparations, and true equity. Necessities that many have tried to trim down to buzz words and free samples. They say if you give a person a fish, they will eat for a day, and if you teach a human to fish, they will eat for a lifetime. That lifetime of eating is Liberation, fishing how and where we want on places that are rightfully ours is reclamation – and we have been starving for far too long.