Crystal Tennille Irby
Gig Seeker Pro

Crystal Tennille Irby

Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
Band Spoken Word Soul




This band has no press


HIS RIB: Poems, Stories, and Essays by HER edited by Mahogany Brown, forward Patricia Smith (An Anthology)

Right Side of the Wrong Bed by Frederick Smith

LOUDmouth, a feminist magazine: contributing writer, editor, 2008-2009 Editor in Chief, Women’s Resource Center, CSULA




Raised in the 80s, a child of the south and hip-hop generation, Crystal writes with her soul wide open. Surrounded by a loud and large family full of strong independent women, she learned at an early age that words were powerful and having your own voice was essential.

After high school, Crystal spread her wings to Florida State University (FSU) were she obtained a B.S. in Television Production and a minor in Black Studies. Crystal went on to pursue an M.A. in Theater Arts from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). As a student activist and actress living in Los Angeles, her spirit grew weary of speaking for others and using others words to express emotion. She searched for a place where she could hear her own voice. Crystal found refuge in the spoken word community. Everything in her – frustration, pain, heartbreak, knowledge, love – all poured out on stage in her own words.

Crystal soulfully unfolds life’s lessons through poetry. With southern realness, grit, and bravery she reveals joy, pain, and the hard work of reconciling the dichotomy of who we actually are with who we aspire to be. She is unafraid to break the silence surrounding issues such as rape, abuse, and violence through her personal story and genuine sincerity. With heart she articulates the voice of a generation searching for its soul and legacy.

Crystal is currently working on becoming more of herself everyday, a play, a book of poetry and/or CD, staying in love, being a good mom, nurturing her dreams and her shoe collection.

In 2008 Crystal was accepted into four NACA conventions, including the 2008 NACA National Convention, where she was booked by colleges and universities from the east to west coast and toured the country until 2010. Crystal has performed on several world famous stages including the Comedy Store, Da Poetry Lounge, and the Pan-African Film Festival. She was the 2004 Los Feliz Grand Slam Champion & the 2006 Hollywood Grand Slam Champion (only the 2nd female in the history of the team). She was a member of the 2005 Hollywood Slam Team, which placed third at the 2005 National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, NM. Crystal has shared the stage with several artists, including opening for rapper/actor Mos Def. She has been asked to perform at several colleges including UCLA & USC, and she has been featured on several of Los Angeles’ radio stations such as 100.3 The Beat, 90.7 KPFK, and 102.3 KJLH, owned by Stevie Wonder. In 2007, Crystal was published in two books due to be released this year, HIS RIB: Poems, Stories, and Essays by HER edited by Mahogany Brown, forward Patricia Smith, and Right Side of the Wrong Bed by Frederick Smith.

She was a member of the international poetry collective, Colors of the Diaspora, which was comprised of female artists from the U.S. and South Africa. In June 2005, Crystal traveled to South Africa and performed in the premiere of the original multi-lingual theater piece, Colors of the Diaspora, at the internationally acclaimed Market Theater in Johannesburg and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. The piece was written and produced by the women of the collective.

Crystal made her film debut in Strangers, which focuses on child abuse. She is featured in I Am A Woman, a documentary focused on the creative process of Colors of the Diaspora. I Am A Woman appeared on the South African Broadcast Channel continuously in the fall 2005. Crystal also appears in SP!T, a documentary which focuses on spokenword and its power to change lives and give hope. SP!T premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in February 2006. In 2007 Crystal performed in several productions including The Vagina Monologues at the Actors Gang Theater in honor of VDay.

Crystal has worked tirelessly as an activist including Program Coordinator for the Pan African Student Resource Center at CSULA, volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club, and Community Educator for the Refuge House, a domestic violence shelter. She has also coordinated and facilitated several workshops and conferences around race, gender, and activism.

Her dream is to build an unprecedented shoe and earring collection, maybe win an Oscar and/or Tony but definitely reveal, inspire, and heal.