Category: profiles

My name is Christian Gilmer, and i’m a 16 year old senior at Hanahan High School. I started writing poetry after a suicide attempt during my sophomore year.

I used it to convey emotions about the event that I couldn’t express in any other way. All of my poems are based off of life experiences and observations, which is one of the reasons that I feel so passionately about my work.

I like to say that I’ve lived a lifetime in my 16 years, and after hearing my story, many would agree. I’ve had a life-long struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, I was bullied often at a young age, I have seen lives of friends and loved ones fade away far too soon, and I’ve had to confront death face to face, but all of that is another story for another day.

Through poetry, I found a way to talk about what I was feeling and really show my point of view on the world around me. In the future, I hope to have my works spread throughout America and maybe even the entire world. But, it’s not really fame or anything like that that I care about. I just want people to know what it’s like being me.

~Christian Gilmer

Snapshot 3 (1-3-2014 5-50 PM)Derek Berry has been a spoken word poet, photographer’s assistant, impromptu lecturer, political science student, and coffee enthusiast. Born in Aiken, South Carolina, he has been writing since he could hold a pencil. He began writing and performing poetry in 2010 at venues in Augusta, GA. He has since published poetry in Poetry Matter’s 2011 Power of Words and 2012 Poetry Diversified anthology. He published fiction in this 2011 edition of The Inkling. He worked for two years as a journalist for Augusta’s Verge magazine. He currently resides in Charleston, SC, and performs at cafes, art collectives, and bars in the area.

He recently released a chapbook called Skinny Dipping with Strangers and a spoken word album titled Perfect Nights.

Joey resizeMr. Enlightenment, whose real name is Joey Tucker, was born on July 8, 1981 in the small town of Walterboro, South Carolina. Growing up, Joey never had the desire to write poetry but sometimes he would freestyle with his friends for fun. It would be about four more years before he actually wrote his first poem.

After graduating from Walterboro High School in 1999, Joey went on to attend Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. While taking a poetry class during his senior year in college, Joey’s interest in the art form was sparked. At that point he knew poetry was an art he needed to explore.

After graduating from college in 2004, Joey moved to Charleston, South Carolina and started his career as a fourth grade language arts teacher. Though he pushes for more involvement from parents and less emphasis on standardized testing Joey enjoys teaching because it allows him to make an impression on a child that lasts forever. The name Mr. Enlightenment acknowledges both the fact that he is a teacher and the fact that he uses his poetry as a way to shine light with his lines and words.

matthewMatthew Foley is an English & Creative Writing teacher at the Charleston Charter School for Math & Science. When he’s not trying to make 7th graders fall in love with books & poetry, you can find Matt on Wednesdays hosting the Open Mic Poetry Night at The 827 art gallery in Avondale. Matt was also a recent feature poet at East Bay Meeting House’s Monday Night Poetry & Music series. Find Matt on Facebook.

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