ONE TO WATCH: Verandah-Maureen Shepard

verandah-maureen shepard

Brooklyn-born spoken word artist Verandah-Maureen Shepard is our One To Watch.

Here at Sampleface we try to have a varied spectrum when it comes to the music and culture we discuss. Spoken word poetry is a vastly underrated genre, despite its rich history as a performing art, dating back to the Ancient Greeks performing spoken word poetry at the Ancient Olympic games. In the modern day, particularly within black culture since the early 20th century, we’ve had greats such as Gil Scott Heron, Wanda Coleman and The Last Poets take to the mic and speak on love, life and music. Hell, a member of our team is a spoken word artist. So, we’d like to show you someone you may want to keep in mind when you’re needing a poetic fix. Verandah-Maureen Shepard is a writer and spoken word artist from Brooklyn. When she’s not performing, Vee works as a part time educator dedicated to disadvantaged and “at risk” youth. A Posse scholar and graduate of Wheaton College, she has released two albums, 2011’s The Renaissance and last year’s Twenty5 and a book called Read Me, which she describes as “the full, unabridged versions of her previously recorded audio projects.”

This kind of dedication is apparent in her performances too, with a poetic flow reminiscent of Ursula Rucker and Natalie Stewart. But it’s her superb ability to mask internal rhyming and wordplay into her verses that strikes me the most, so effortlessly and almost paradoxically in relation to what she speaks on: pain, life and heartache, to name a few topics.

Peep her performance at Mike Geffner Presents The Inspired Word below to get a feel of what she’s saying.