Dasan Ahanu



Day/time: saturday @ 10:00 AM

tent location: The Play tent

spoken word:
the art of performance poetry

Spoken Word is the art of performance poetry. It can be emotional, inspirational, educational, and as creative and expressive as your imagination. It can also be a tool for healing and growth. How you bring your words to life is about how prepared you are to deliver them. Spoken Word combines creative writing with the skill of oration and the subtle nuance of theatre and improvisation. It is an exercise in affirmation and self-determination. It is a way to have necessary conversations with those who may not want to, may not be prepared to, or didn’t know they needed to have them. People consider Spoken Word catharsis. This session explores the possibilities of the art form. It involves performance and presentation. We will discuss technique, individual voice, and presence. Participants will gain an understanding of how this art form can be transformational and impactful for those who learn to share who they are, the words in their soul, with an audience.


Chris Massenburg is Dasan Ahanu
Poet, Emcee, Cultural Organizer, Playwright, Performance Artist, Lecturer, Educator

A self-described introvert with a very public profession, Dasan Ahanu is a poet, cultural organizer, performing artist, and scholar. He is a Southern writer and performing artist who uses storytelling to deepen our understanding and awareness of what’s happening around us.

Dasan is a visiting lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill, an alumnus of Harvard University’s Nasir Jones Fellowship, and the 2023 Piedmont Laureate for poetry. He notes that creative artistry is embedded in the fabric of North Carolina and shows an incredible commitment to his home state. He has served in various artistic leadership roles and consistently reinvests his talents. A respected recording artist, Dasan has collaborated with many jazz, soul, and hip-hop artists in North Carolina. He has published extensively, performed nationwide, and is the author of five poetry collections.

Dasan has been active in poetry slam, participating in regional and national competitions as a founding member and coach of the Bull City Slam Team. He is a builder who works with organizations and institutions to develop effective arts strategies that enhance their work in the community.