I got involved in the poetry arena during the late 1990’s. It was a glorious time, a golden age of the pen. The unity and love that flourished through this art form was, and is truly divine. It was a community of artists who socialized among themselves continually. It was during this time that I met Nathan P.
Nathan Pearson entered the poetry scene and brought the style that he is famous for with. While everyone else was wearing either baseball caps and sneakers, or dashikis, others dressed more militant. Nathan, however, made his own mark, as he often toted Fedora hats and Berluti shoes. It looked like the spoken word arena had finally donned its first “powder king.” I can’t remember where I met Nathan, but I believe it was at Brooklyn Moon Café. I remember we met as he was just beginning to hit the stage and recite poetry. I was amazed by his distinct voice and the content of his work. At the time, I was working on a project with Caridad De La Luz and I invited Nathan to feature on the project as well. What really impressed me about Nathan P. was that he didn’t come with this larger-than-life ego that some artists have. It was quite the opposite. Despite the fine clothes, and poetic words, Nathan P. is quite a modest gentleman. He reminds me of Robert Redford’s character in the Great Gatsby. Our readers who know Nathan personally will agree with me.
I had stepped away from performing for about 9 years. I wanted to work more in life, and got deeper into exploring the magical arts, philosophy and etc. I was also working on a musical production entitled Kiss of the Immortal. After recently performing for the first time in about 10 years, I decided that it was time to get back into reciting poetry again. It was a Tuesday night and I just happen to check for poetry spots online and I saw that Nathan P. was hosting Inspired Word presented by Mike Geffner. It had been too long. Nathan P id an excellent job and we were able to reconnect after losing contact for almost a decade. After exchanging information, I thought it might be good to interview the distinguished Nathan P.
Warlock Asylum (aka Messiah Sun): I’ve known you for quite some time as an excellent poet and a remarkable gentleman. Over the past decade you have accomplished a lot on the spoken word scene. How did you get involved in the performing arts and poetry more specifically?
Nathan P: Thank you for that compliment. I’ve always had an undercover artistic flair. In the workplace I did a lot of public speaking, trainings and motivational speaking. A colleague I was working with in 1999 invited me to a reading….and I was like wow, this is poetry?!? I was hooked right away.
Warlock Asylum: Is there any specific formula that you use as a writer?
Nathan P: I’ve been blessed not to have any two poems sounding alike due to the fact that I don’t have any particular writing formula. Other than writing what I feel when I feel. I think those that have a structured system (writing each day at the same hour in the same locale) are the ones that run the risk of all their poems sounding the same. There’s no flexibility or versatility in their writing.
Warlock Asylum: What messages do you try to convey in your work, and why?
Nathan P: My first go ’round, the days of “Madness,” I wanted people to see the actions of the world from an uncommon perspective. A big dose of “ain’t nobody cause your situation but you!” This “2nd coming”, LOL, the poetry has definitely been more about my personal journeys and struggles.
Warlock Asylum: I know that over the past few years you have been dealing with some personal things regarding your health, how have you been able to persevere throughout all of this?
Nathan P: Oh man it’s been a trip for sure! At the start of 2010 I lost my job, then I was diagnosed with Lupus, which had my in & out of the hospital 5 times that year! Writing helped me get through it. But the big push was the outpouring of love I received from the poetry world. I always felt I was liked….but I never knew how much I was loved & respected!! THAT’S what got & gets me through the dark days!!
Warlock Asylum: Are there any other artists, musicians, poets, and etc, that you find as a source of inspiration in your own craft?
Nathan P: PRINCE….the talent & cool says it all!! Tantra-Zawadi….when we work together it’s magic. You, for opening the pathway to recording!!! Advocate of Wordz whose energy and talent is amazing AND was the key factor in my return to hosting!! Chance Acevedo, Crow, Ngoma, Carlos Andres Gomez, Mahogany L. Browne & Jive Poetic, and all the poets/performers that I’ve crossed paths with thru the years.
Warlock Asylum: Many people who know you personally admire your style of dress, what is your understanding of fashion in general and how one presents their being through dress?
Nathan P: Appearance Affects Attitudes. It affects how you carry yourself and how people treat you. Dress well and you get respect without even opening your mouth. I’ve always loved suits. As a kid I would watch the old B &W gangster or detective flicks and those cats could dress!! The jobs I’ve held always required a suit and I was able to feed my flamboyant side with the hats, cufflinks and pocket squares. It carried over as a host. You become identity of the event. I want you to feel that I made an effort to present my best side to you in appreciation of you spending 2 plus hours with me!
Warlock Asylum: You spent several years as the premiere host of the historical Nuyorican Poets Cafe. How did that come about?
Nathan P: I didn’t really know until I left the cafe! I was with Keith Roach, one of the original Nuyo slam masters. The Nuyo used to do yearly event in Washington Square Park. I went in 2000. Keith said he was flustered because a lot of the scheduled poets hadn’t shown up. He saw me in the crowd and recognized from coming to cafe regularly. So he asked me to perform. I did Madness. He said when he saw how I held & moved the crowd….he knew I’d be a good host. So I became a guest host when Celena Glenn(Weds) or Felice Belle(Fri) needed a night off. When Celena stepped down, I stepped in, and the rest……..
Warlock Asylum: Do you have any upcoming projects in the future?
Nathan P: The main thing is hosting the Inspired Word’s NYC Open Mic Joint. Every Tuesday at the One & One At 1st Ave & 1st Street on the Lower East Side. I have thoughts on a new CD if I can find a producer that knows how to cram a lot of life in a day!! Hint Hint.
Warlock Asylum: Finally, what advice would you give to newly inspired writers and other artists in general? Any final thoughts?
Nathan P: Find your own voice. Don’t just go to slams. Don’t just go to that local spot in your neighborhood that’s one ethnicity. Go everywhere to soak up everything so you can create your own unique voice!!! And don’t feel compelled to write about everything just because it’s current events. Write when it truly moves you to write, not because it’s the hot topic of the day!! And to all the young brother and sisters: don’t expect to be treated like fine wine, when you present yourself like malt liquor! It’s Madness Yo…..Sheeeeer Madness!!!
I would like to thank Nathan P for taking the time out for the interview and to just say as friend; “we love ya Nate!” I am sure I speak for the many people that you have inspired over the years, and I think a Ghetto Wars Part 2 just may be in the works; Life in a Day, Yaah! Stay tuned.