Obasi Davis Named 2013 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate
Seventeen-year-old Obasi Davis is the City of Oakland’s 2013 Youth Poet Laureate. Born and raised in Oakland, Obasi is a founding member of its heralded poetry ensemble Young, Gifted and Black. A tenacious student of prose and poetry since age 12, he has dedicated himself to his craft in workshops, at open mics and on stage at some of the nation’s largest performance venues. He’s shown tremendous leadership as a member of Spokes, Youth Speaks’ teen advisory board and production training program. In August 2013, he will represent the Bay Area as a member of its delegation to Brave New Voices, an international Teen Poetry Slam and Festival.
At the heart of Obasi’s work is a probing and truthful lyric, brimming with the honest imagery of disenfranchised America. Obasi writes for those who aren’t yet heard, chanting down corruption with nuance, maturity and charisma beyond his years. As a burgeoning wordsmith, his style conjures Etheridge Knight, Tupac Amaru, Gil Scott Heron and Kendrick Lamar. Obasi Davis is sure to join the ranks of these titans as his work promises a long, impactful career in the literary arts.
As Youth Poet Laureate, Obasi will have his work published, make public appearances, and will receive a college scholarship with academic support from ScholarMatch.