Culture » Literature

Chris Beasley uses poetry to speak his truth

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TIMMY SPERLING
  • Timmy Sperling
Aristotle said that poetry is more philosophical than history, because poetry deals with universals rather than specifics. Local poet Christopher “Beas J” Beasley believes the Springs can benefit from talking about some of those universal truths, particularly when it comes to issues of diversity.

“Black people here feel like they’re the only blacks in the room most of the time,” he says. “We have things to say about living in Colorado Springs. There’s a diverse group of people here that isn’t being heard at all.”

Beasley says he began writing poetry about eight years ago, eventually co-founding Hear, Here Poetry. The nonprofit organization mentors area poets through workshops, open mic nights and slam poetry competitions. Its youth and adult poetry teams have won recognition and honors in several regional and national competitions, and Beasley has twice been a member of the national team.

“The focus of the poetry changes at the national level,” he says. “You’re writing as a group and writing for everyone. That’s the best part: going to the competition, and getting feedback like, ‘Wow, you wrote what I’ve been thinking, what I’ve wanted to say.’”

Beasley says that because he is one of the only black male poets on a team in the area, he likes to challenge people to think about others’ perspectives and encourage them to write from their hearts. His best advice is simple: “Get your message out, no matter how uncomfortable it makes people feel.”

"It’s never sweeter when you’re bitter,
And we’ve all walked on water,
Just follow the foot prints in the ocean of my tears.”
— Chris “Beas J” Beasley

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