With a new crop of poets rising from local high schools and universities, this art form has seen new life. Leslie D. Rose, a spoken word poet and journalist, shares an insider’s perspective on the culture of spoken word poetry in Baton Rouge.
Poetic Pair BR couple to showcase poetry, The Advocate
Modern poets tend to love the written and spoken word. For Leslie D. and Donney Rose, the spoken words include “I do.” Poetry helped bring the Baton Rouge couple together. They met at a concert and started seeing each other at poetry readings.
Leslie Rose, who holds a full-time job while also pursuing creative side projects and working on the Black Out Loud Conference, says she encourages entrepreneurs to not immediately put pressure on their art to support their lives. “Keep your full-time job as long as you can,” she says. “Have your benefits, save your money, go and network and meet people.”
Invisible Warriors: Photo Exhibit Reveals the Truth Behind Invisible Illness, The Jozef Syndicate
When photographer and writer Leslie D. Rose is told “oh, but, you look good! ” it is not a compliment. For many people living with invisible illnesses, very rarely do they “look sick.” And quite often, there is no celebration in looking like they are disease-free when beneath the surface their bodies are fighting debilitating conditions or chronic pain.
Their vacation in December 2016 came at the end of a particularly painful year, but Leslie Rose and her husband, Donney, found a spirit of rejuvenation in Puerto Rico.
I Am Black Out Loud Because..., AltBR podcast
The husband and wife team is bringing a new conference to Baton Rouge this year called Black Out Loud focused on celebrating Black visibility in the realm of arts, media and activism through social mixers, workshops, panel discussions and a keynote address.
Inspired by her diagnosis journey with an invisible illness, Rose wanted to create something that would help non-ill people better understand what “sick” really looks like. In 2014, she was misdiagnosed with an anxiety disorder – a diagnosis she believed, as her husband had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Don't miss these events, Art, The Picture of Health, The Advocate
"The biggest thing is to elicit compassion," Rose says. Through her photos, she wants to show and educate that just because there may not be outward signs, doesn't mean that a neighbor isn't living with an illness. There is also the benefit, Rose says, that by showing others discussing their illnesses, more Baton Rougeans will
want to speak up, showing there are many in the community with these medical conditions.
Invisible Illnesses to Highlighted at The Picture of Health, The Drum community newspaper.
Being so closely touched by a variety of invisible illnesses and having been misdiagnosed, shining light on invisible illnesses of all kinds became a passion project for Rose. This is why she started an online support group for women of color suffering with chronic pain. But this wouldn’t be enough – she had to find a way to help other people understand invisible illnesses.
Artists aren't typically inclined to math, but they have a knack for aftermath, emerging with works both healing and buoyant in the wake of disasters. For the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico, the Baton Rouge Gallery hosts "Louisiana Artists for Puerto Rico," an evening of music, poetry, and dance led by area poet and media professional Leslie D. Rose, whose Puerto Rican descent prompted, in part, her effort to contribute to the country's reconstruction.
A group of local artists are coming together to benefit those impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago nearing the one year anniversary.
Xavier names 40 under 40 award recipients, The Advocate
Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief Editor Leslie D. Rose recently was selected as one of Xavier University of Louisiana’s Top 40 under 40 Young Alumni Awards. The awards recognize outstanding professionals under the age of 40 for their contributions to their organizations and to the community.
The Donaldsonville Chief brings Rose in as Editor, The Donaldsonville Chief
“We are excited to bring Leslie aboard in Ascension Parish,” said Brian Trahan, Regional Editor of GateHouse Media Louisiana. “She has an energy and passion for the newspaper business and will take very little time infusing her personality into our publications. She is a very community-minded person and we believe she will become an active part of this progressive and historic parish.”
Local poets to represent Louisiana at international slam, The Drum community newspaper
Rose started participating in spoken word, non- competitively in 2002, six years before Poetry Slam, Inc. launched WOWPS. She did her first reading at the Hard Rock Café in New Orleans, at a weekly open mic event called Up Close and Personal.
Rose, who lives in Louisiana but is originally from Mount Holly, has been performing for 9 years and started competing in 2006. "My interest in competing came from the sport feel of it," Rose said. "I have always been a very competitive person with no outlet — I can't play sports, I suck at board games, etc."