Dave Stanley
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Dave Stanley

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | SELF

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Spoken Word Comedy


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"Happy to Be Home, Anxious for the Road"

I ran into poet and spoken word artist Dave Stanley in downtown Red Bank. He was in town arranging a multi-media open mic night at Zebu Forno on Broad Street and I was lucky to catch him before he takes off on another poetry journey, this time to do the spoken word thing in Florida, after that, Texas.

The 28-year-old writer has lived all over Jersey, but now calls Bradley Beach his home. These days Stanley isn’t spending much time in any one place. His energy is frenetic. Like any good writer in their youth, his thoughts seems to be madly swimming upstream. His mouth his full of words. They ramble out quickly in poetic cadences accidentally.

Locally, Stanley has read at The Saint and at The Annex in Asbury Park as well as The Ink Well in Long Branch, but he got his start in spoken word at the legendary Nuyorican Poet Café in the East Village in New York.

Stanley isn’t shy to admit that he is a recovering addict and that the subject of his 15-year battle with addiction is something that he confronts both thematically in his work and as a necessity to saving and improving his life. Stanley has also begun bringing his performance and message, titled ‘Recovering With Poetry,” to rehab centers and detoxification programs in Jersey.

He has only been back to Jersey for a few weeks, following a criss-crossing trek around America performing his poetry. Stanley left in late October and returned to Jersey in time for the holidays. In his two months on the road he logged 12,000 miles and performed his poetry in 30+ states.

The point of his travels was to perform his poetry around the United States and spread the messages and themes of his work, but Stanley said the vast country offered inspiration, connection and material for future pieces as well.

“I can totally understand the feelings that writer Jack Keroauc had about America,” he said. “One of the big things for me out there was truck stops and convenience stores. You could be on the road for ten hours and stop in to get gas, but you end up talking to people and hanging out and getting to know them. You exchange stories and then you just move on, but you really feel life in places like that.”

Stanley commented that he encountered some misconceptions about his homestate out on the road.

“A lot of people out there don’t understand Jersey,” he said. “When I told them where I was from they said they felt bad for me. They don’t understand how much life and diversity we have here.”

At the end of his journey, Stanley was happy when his headlights were trained on roads heading east.

“When I was driving home and I was getting closer and closer to Jersey, I began to feel it,” he said. “Like Jersey is a part of me, so I could actually feel that part reconnecting to the place I call home.”

When Stanley is home in Jersey he frequently opens up for rock bands and hip hop artists at The Saint and at other locations. He has also teamed up with Asbury Park singer/songwriter Mash McLain. Stanley said he enjoys mixing the different mediums together on the same stage and is looking forward to incorporating more visual artists in his shows.

“There are so many talented people down here,” he said. “I just see this vision of all of us working together making something special out of all of the gifts we have.

The multi-media open mic night at Zebu Forno, featuring Stanley and friends will be held on Jan. 25 from 8 to 11pm. Poets, writers, singer/songwriters and story-tellers are all welcome to perform. This will be Stanley’s last show before he travels to Texas to perform and record his work.

“I feel like I’ll be traveling like this more and more with my writing,” he said. “But I always know that I’ll be back because Jersey is my home and this area is my homebase.” - Steve Rogers. Patch


"Journey to Me" Copyright 2011
"Lost In the World" Copyright 2010



Dave Stanley grew up in New Jersey twenty-five minutes from the Nuyorican Poet’s Café in New York City and it was at the Nuyorican that he would compete in his very first poetry slam in 2005. Dave believes it is a performance poet’s job to become completely vulnerable on stage. He is well-known for going into personally painful subjects, such as his adoption and his decade plus struggle with drug addiction. This addiction took him away from the poetry community in 2006 until his return at the end of 2009.

Since returning to the community, Dave has traveled extensively across the country and has performed his poetry in over 25 states. He has also been a feature at such colleges as the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Christian University.

In May of 2011, he relocated from New Jersey to the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas where he worked with the 2011 DFW Youth Poetry Slam Team as they were preparing for the Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival, held in San Francisco in July of 2011. He continues to work with youth in the Ft. Worth school districts and other districts.

Dave Stanley was the Fort Worth National Slam Team’s representative for the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam. At this event, he competed against the top 71 poets from around the world. In the Winter of '11-'12 Dave hit-the-road with friend and fellow poet A.J. Houston for their "Melody of Words" tour which traversed the country from Texas to California back through the plains and finally ending in the North East.

Dave can also be seen on the 2011 Emmy-Nominated series, “Driving Jersey” directed by Steve Rogers alongside fellow artist and singer-songwriter Mash McLain. Together they have founded, “Love-Locks Project”, a fusion of poetry, music and visual art. Make sure to keep your eyes and ears open as this project will be hitting-the-road in 2012.

Dave has released two albums of poetry and a chapbook titled “Lost in the World”. “Journey to Me” is Dave Stanley’s latest album and chapbook released in November of 2011.
For booking or to set up an interview contact: davestanleypoetry@gmail.com