BT: When Janice Erlbaum suggested I interview you next, she sent me a Youtube clipof you performing a poem on stage. You have great stage presence and are very opinionated. Is there any other stage/platform career you'd consider— for instance, politics or comedy or acting?
CEEZ: Well along with poetry, I rap, sing, play basketball and act. I'm very open to learning new things and determined, and fortunate enough, to excel in everything. my mixtape "Because I Can" is gonna be available for download February 18th and I recently acted in my first feature film "Gun Hill Road." It just premiered at Sundance. It'll be on HBO soon.
BT: In an interview I read, you said that an eighth grade teacher, Ms. Lief, showed you "Sonia Sanchez and Tupac" when you thought poetry was all "Robert Frost and Shakespeare." If you were a teacher, what poets would you make sure to introduce to your students?
CEEZ: I actually am a teacher. I teach workshops at a shelter and several middle and high schools. Last year, I started a non profit: Wordplay Poetry and Hip Hop for teens. Every time I teach, I like to introduce students to a very wide selection of poets. The goal is for every student to develop their own voice by giving them a world of poetry to observe and an opportunity to hone their craft, to find their voice.
There are some poems I wish I had written or I feel I could've written. For instance, I wish I had written the poem "Mood Indigo" by William Matthews. Is there are poem you wish you had written or feel you could've written?
CEEZ: Yeah— everything hot, it would be easier to book shows =) I think out of every poem I wish I couldve written, I'm gonna have to go with "Switch" by the 2009 Urban Word Poetry Team. That's my favorite poem. EVER. (After anything by Buddy Wakefield or Andrea Gibson)
I consider myself a logophile (which is a lover of words). Do you have a favorite word at the moment?
CEEZ: I am definitely a logophile! No favorite word. I try not to be bias. LOL.
BT: I'm trying to start a chain, a chain of poets, sort of like a chain gang of poets. Can you please suggest a poet I should ask five fast questions to next?
CEEZ: Jadon Woodard. He was apart of the 2010 Swap Project and he definitely has some stuff online! Peace!
Ceez Liive s a recognized teen spoken word artist/poet. She has been featured at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Madison Square Garden, The Chicago Theater, The Saban Theatre and several other venues throughout the United States. Ceez won second place in the 2009 Knicks Poetry Slam and is a member of both the 2009 Urban Word Slam team and the 2010 Philadelphia Team. Her show “Ma Heels” premiered in December of 2009 in Dance Theater Workshop and was featured in the 2010 Hip Hop Theater Festival. She’s made appearances on WQHT Hot 97 and Kiss FM in New York City reciting poetry. The New York Times, The Bronx Times and The Daily News have written articles on her. In January of 2011, Ceez’ first feature film “Gun Hill Road” premiered at The Sundance Film Festival. Her talent to weave words and mesh experiences to educate and entertain makes her an up and coming performer to watch.