“You have so, so much inspired me with your Spoken Word” said the legendary Stevie Wonder, while interviewing Taalam Acey, during Wonder’s own birthday celebration in May 2008. Taalam, a child of the Newark Rebellion, was raised by a single mother who served as a member of the famed writer and activist Imamu Amiri Baraka’s community organization. Acey is an independent artist whose work has been featured frequently on TV One as well as the Documentary Channel and was selected as the original “number one thing you need to know about” on BET’s countdown show, “The 5ive.” Over the years, BET has featured and aired roughly a half dozen segments featuring Taalam Acey. The Newark, NJ native’s poetry has appeared in Essence Magazine and Susan Taylor, the magazine’s Editor Emeritus, personally invited Acey to perform for an audience of six thousand at The Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. Acey was a curator of the 2012 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival (the largest poetry gathering in North America) and was selected as the initial presenter for the inaugural Baltimore TEDx.
He was also the guest curator of the 2011 Sacred Circle Cafe at New Jersey’s most prestigious theater, the NJ Performing Arts Center. Taalam was honored to be a guest of Congresswoman Maxine Waters for the Congressional Black Caucus’ 2007 & 2008 “Young Gifted and Black” panels. He has recited work and given workshops in several countries such as Mexico, Germany, Jamaica, Holland, Austria and approximately one hundred schools of higher education; including the esteemed Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, where he delivered a lecture on contemporary Spoken Word. Taalam Acey has recorded more than sixteen CDs and authored six books. Additionally, films that include his work have garnered an Audience Award (2002) and a Special Jury Prize (2006) at the Sundance Film Festival. He was featured in an acclaimed Radio-One London slam poetry documentary and Marc Smith, the founder of slam poetry, used Acey’s work in his definitive book. Taalam currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.