The Original Woman
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The Original Woman

Band Spoken Word Hip Hop

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Nov
06
The Original Woman @ Hosting Arkansas Grand Slam

Hotsprings, Arkansas, USA

Hotsprings, Arkansas, USA

Oct
15
The Original Woman @ Leaf Poetry Festival

Black Mountain, North Carolina, USA

Black Mountain, North Carolina, USA

Aug
04
The Original Woman @ National Poetry Slam, Inc.

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

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Article in Promiseland Productions Magazine

In Session With The Original Woman

By Kimberly Banks



Original Article at http://www.promiseland-productions.com/njiamagazinepage3.htm

Published December 2005



For those of you who thought the revolutionary period was over…do we have a treat for you. Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get your soapboxes and your megaphones ready to rally with a righteous woman with a cause. Nitche Ward a.k.a. The Original Woman is not only poetically skilled to paint pictures with words, but she has also bears the moniker of “Artivist” (those who combine arts and social justice), carrying with her a mighty voice of empowerment.

Deeming herself a People Soldier, Nitche has been on the forefront of the spoken word scene since 1996, and crafting her art for over a decade. She recently stepped into the journey of a full time artist just three short years ago. “My work is somewhat different from most spoken word artist in that I am a full time social justice organizer as well.” Her mission is to utilize her words to mobilize the masses to make change – in addition to lobbying legislatures and organizing public demonstrations. In August of 2004, Nitche was involved in the assembly of the “Stop the Bush Agenda Protest” against the New York City Republican National Convention (an event that comprised 15,000 in attendance). Shortly before that she served as Senior Field Organizer in the National March for Women’s Lives (April 2004) – the largest march in the history of the US, gathering 1.15 million “artivist” and activist. In her last project (April of 2005), she was an essential element in organizing of the National Women of Color and Allies Conference - a historical event sponsored by the National Organization for Women. As if that isn’t enough, Nitche is the Festival Coordinator for a Semi-Annual National Freedom Fire Spoken Word Festival, and Co-Chair of Sistah Cypher – a venue with Queen Sheba out of Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and Norfolk, VA, and London.

To shed light on some of her spoken word ventures, Ms. Ward’s works have been featured on BET’s Mic Check, the New York Reproductive Justice demonstration and several radio stations throughout the country. She’s performed with HBO’s Def Poets like Alix Olsen, Ishle Park, Staceyann Chin, and Helena D. Lewis. In , she’s worked along side national entertainers like Whoopi Goldberg, Infamous Peter, Paul, and Mary (National Legendary Folk Singers), Ani DiFranco (“Riteous Babe” folk singer), Moby (The face of techno), Wanda Sykes Hall (Comedian), Nikki Giovanni (Poet and activist), Yolanda Adams (Gospel Singer), MC Lyte (Hip Hop Pioneer), Myra J. (Comedian), and Queen Sheba, (Internationally known spoken word artist).

In between law school and performing fulltime in nationwide appearances, Nitche has penned an ensemble of poetry in a collective work called Naked Expressions and comprised three CD compilations entitled Life – By Any Means Necessary, The Messenger of Truth,and lastly, The Addiction.

Have you ever heard something so powerful, yet so enigmatic, that you had to listen to it more than once to get a full understanding of its message? Like food to a hungry man…he can never get enough. It’s exactly how I felt once I received a copy of Nitche’s poetry track, Barbie , via email a few weeks ago. We all know there is a difference between spoken word and poetry, but if I may, I’ll offer up an analogy of my own. Lightly put – poetry is a relative thought, while spoken word is the voice that relays such a conception and the emotion that envelops it. To say the least, my ears weren’t fully prepared for such fervency behind Nitche’s words. Because I was expecting the usual liberation of words flowing over a melodic jazz instrumentals (I love it, so no offense by any means), the dichotomy of hatred and self-love, anger and passion, combined with background antics that amplified an already profound delivery, spilling through my tiny computer speakers, left me utterly speechless. I contacted Nitche immediately after her piece met its end, to get a better insight on the person behind the words of such a powerful piece of work. Here’s what I learned from the Original Woman herself:

N:To begin with, tell us a little about yourself…like what you do on your free time?

TOW:I’m in law school right now so juggling classes and performing as a travel poet, can get kind of tough. I have to schedule things really far in advance sometimes. My initial intention was to stop but when I stop doing performing and just concentrate on school, but I get so depressed. I’ve been full time performance poet a little over four years so I couldn’t just go cold turkey.

N: Why law school? Poetry and law seem like two different entities that sit on two different sides of the creative spectrum.

TOW: The reason I am in law school is because of my work in the community…like with the National Organization for Women for example. I want to be able to make a stronger impact in the community. I am still a hard-core activist for women’s right. My law degree will help build a stronger foundation for a more solid background in that area. I don’t really call myself a poet; it’s what most people can identify with. But I use my poetry to get the message out to the people. Most folks don’t want to sit and just hear some one speak half the time. They need to be entertainment in order to pay attention so poetry is what I use to get their attention…I am a people soldier and I do whatever I have to do to be heard, whether it’s protesting, marching, seminars, teaching…I try not to limit myself as a poet.

N: Do you feel there is the difference between spoken word and poetry?

TOW: Writing poetry and spoke word are tweaked but similar…all poetry comes from the soul…the genres are just tweaked. Poets are literary writers, and like writer’s their general focus is more on the prose aspect of creating, where spoken word is centered on the message.

N: Do you consider yourself to be an artist? If so…why are you a spoken word artist and/or performer?

TOW: Yes…I would say that I am an artivist. I am an artists as well because I think that artist tend to look at life with a little different perspective… everything I do bleeds art. Even in my court cases and my classes, I try to incorporate art into my deliberation. Art to me makes everything have a different flavor.

N: What are you working on now?

TOW: The Freedom Fire Spoken Word Festival. It’s an annual event on its 3rd year, that’s going to be held in Denver. The whole purpose of the festival is to teach artists how to incorporate a message behind their music; to empower and incorporate the message of community into their works.

N: How would you say that you have handled the business side of being an artist? Describe some of your hardships? Some of the benefits?

TOW: I think that it is really, really hard to be a spoken word performer – a touring spoken word artist at that. You have to stay on the grind and network and make sure you get your name out there. I remember when I first started the idea of performing was glamorized. I was excited and hyped about it, but when I actually started going on tour, I realized how difficult it was because we don’t have a lot of big names [in the spoken word industry]. People always underestimate your work, promoters short you of money…they disrespect your work…often times I don’t know where I am going to sleep once I’m done performing. I just pray that I don’t have to sleep in my car. But I love the art of it. I stay with it; I dedicate my life to social justice, ‘cause if I don’t, then no one else will.

N: What advice would you have for those out there interested in venturing down this path?

TOW: My advice would be to always have a contract, it’s the key element to being a touring artists. Meet as many people as possible and use as many opportunities as you can to showcase what you can do. Always have business cards and learn how to promote yourself. Take an interest in studying how to be what it is you want.

N: What inspires you to write and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio? Describe the influences or topics your works are centered around?

TOW: Social justice…when I was growing up I saw in my own household how social issues like crack cocaine, drugs and alcoholism affected my own family. Because it was so close to home, I saw that there was a change needed to take place – whether it is in my family or in my community. I love art, I love people, and I want something different for us. I feel we need to see each other out their hustling for change…like we do for money.

N: Who are your favorite spoken word artists; what artists have influenced you, and how?

TOW: When I was younger, Maya Angelou. At the time, she was the only one I heard about. Then when I got older, the more I developed, I took a liking to Nikki Giovanni. I lover the aggression behind her work…her poetry inspired me. But when I got into the spoken word scene, I saw that there were so many more under ground that were strong and talented. Like Queen Sheeba - she was always on the grind as an activist and that really inspired me because she does it successfully. Tim Jackson is another one. He’s not on an activist grind, but on a spiritual grind. His poetry proved to me that you can still have a spiritual aspect and still make spoken word a large part of your life. Woman Storm is another artist…she helped me to appreciate the conversational aspect of poetry by showing me how people in the audience don’t like to be spoken at…they like to be spoken to; it makes it more interactive.

N: I got a chance to listen to two of your pieces. Barbie and Matthew 5:5. Can you tell us a little bit about those?

TOW: (Sighing) Matthews 5:5 (see download at end of interview) took me a year to write. It was initially written about myself. But I found it was a hard piece to finish. Mainly because it’s about relationships. And I didn’t realize at first, but I didn’t know how to get out of a relationship…because I always had a hard time getting out of my own relationships…but as with most of my pieces, I thought that there had to be a ending or solution to the poems…but Sonya Renee helped me to realize that not everything needed a conclusion or a message, she helped me to understand that. The piece ended up being about a woman who watches her mother go through domestic abuse…Now, I also realize that the poem reflects what I saw my grandmother – my mother – go through…the abuse she went through. But, I didn’t realize it was a poem about her until after she passed.

N: Tell us more about Barbie?

TOW: It’s a personal piece that I wrote because when I was younger I went through a lot of self-hate. I was conditioned to think thinks like - why do I look different, why are my hips bigger, my hair was different, and my lips are bigger. I was surrounded by white people all the time and as a kid you tend to compare yourself to what is around you. So I wanted to become what I was surrounded by – not consciously. At some point I began to look around and love myself…but now I look at my little sister and see her battling the same issues of self esteem; and I see so many young girls who are not happy with who they are and what they look like. I see so many of them trying to look like white girls…I think a lot of people of color – especially women – don’t quite understand how oppressed we really are; even from our own people. So this piece was created to bring about awareness. I have done a lot of pieces in community centers and people claim that there is no longer oppression. So it is also brings awareness to the non-African American people…this pieces gives those who are not African American a new perspective.

N: Could you tell us some more about how you got started?

TOW: I remember I was in high school…first year – I wrote a poem called the Black Man’s Poem. It was an in your face piece about the plight of a black man…and while I was performing on stage the principle cut off the microphone…it broke my heart. That day after school, I started spitting the poem in the gym while we were waiting for our buses and every body loved it. I was about 13 or 14 at the time… but I remember the next day I noticed that there was a sense of pride around the school…it wasn’t long lived but it was when I first saw that I could have an impact.

N: Where do you see spoken word today, meaning what is your view of performances or pieces being written in today’s time?

TOW: A lot of our open mike sessions and spoken word events serve as our chat sessions. I think historically, spoken word, hip-hop music and poetry, back in the day we used them to celebrate, to educate, as our war calls. There was a purpose behind it. Poetry is the mother of hip hop; without poetry there would be no hip hop…I think it actually started way back in the 60’s when we were disgruntled and hungry and unhappy…Now, I think that everybody is so out for themselves, out here struggling just to make ends meet, that the content has changed. There’s a lot of negative…but there are lots of positives; there are several underground artists that are on the rise to bring the purpose and unity behind the music and writing.

N: Have you ever collaborated on a piece? Explain. If so, do you find it helps the process being one part of a creative pair?

TOW: Sonya Renee. She’s the 2004 National Slam winner and one of the first feminist activists. Working with her gave me a different perspective of poetry.

N: If you could work with absolutely anyone (artists, companies, writers--anyone at all) on a project, who would it be?

TOW: I would love to work with Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, India Arie, Common – although I feel that he should make more of an active effort into bring women to the forefront. An not just the girls in his videos. Dead Prez - I love their revolutionary stance…not everything they do is positive, but I still like their stance. Angela Davis and Asatta Shakur; I would like to know about their journey as women and the struggle. Build with them and how we can translate their struggles to women’s lives today.

So there you have it, a first-hand glance at the passion and enlightenment through the voice of Ms. Niche Ward. And last but certainly not least, I leave you with a two samples of her poetry (thought) and her voice (spoken word sample). I certainly hope you enjoy as much as I did.

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- Promise Land Productions


Article in Lets Do It On The Road Online Magazine

Women Spoken Word Artists On Tour – Interview with The Original Woman

By Susan Chenelle



Original Article at http://www.letsdoitontheroad.com/originalwomaninterview.html

Published July 2005

On stage, the Original Woman, a.k.a., Nitche Ward, confesses, "I have to tell the truth. I'm not really a poet. I'm a people's soldier. I only use poetry as a tool to mobilize the people." This native of North Carolina, has been educating, training, and mobilizing since 1996. She also co-chairs a five-location spoken-word series with Queen Sheba, Kwintessential and HBO's Punany Poet Mo' Browne, called "Sistah Cypher: Women Empowerment Through Spoken Word," hosted out of Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Durham, NC; Norfolk, VA; and London, UK. You can find out more about her and her two spoken-word CDs, "The Messenger of Truth" and "Life—By Any Means Necessary," on her website: theoriginalwoman.com.

How/when did you start writing and performing poetry?

Original Woman: You know for any poet—poetry is something that you are born with—it's something that runs in your veins since birth. Poetry has been on my fingertips since I was old enough to know how to use a pencil. I remember writing about my experiences since elementary. Believe it or not I was always somewhat of any introvert, so the only outlet to get out some of my frustration was through poetry. I was raised pretty much as an only child. I am the oldest of five; the youngest of my siblings and I are separated by 15 years, so I was alone a good portion of my life. So my pencil was always my best friend. I was never the prettiest or the most popular. I wasn't the best at anything, but I could always write. I remember competing in writing and oratorical competitions in middle and high school, and for some reason I won a lot of them, so I grew attached to my writing.

Did you wed poetry with politics from the beginning?

OW: I have always believed the old saying that "the personal is political." I wrote about my experiences and my frustrations. I remember one of the first poems I ever performed was called "The Black Man's Pride." It talked about the frustrations of people of color living in America today, and how it was rooted in the politics of this country over the last 400 years. I think I was in 9th grade at the time, so I was about 14 years old. I performed it at school during a student body assembly—a talent show or something—the poem was so raw and blunt that the principle cut off my mic in the middle of the poem. This was one of my first realizations that people were afraid of the truth. I ended up spitting the poem for everyone after school that day while we were waiting for the buses. I think I helped create a few revolutionaries then, though none of us knew what the word revolutionary meant at the time. Ever since then I have committed myself to recruiting soldiers one by one.

How/when/why did you choose "The Original Woman" as your artistic name?

OW: Ironically it wasn't purposeful! One of the my oldest poems was called "The Original Woman." It was a poem about full figured women ­ and how we rock! Over time it became my most requested piece ­ particularly in this little black owned coffeehouse in Durham, North Carolina called IDEAS. So whenever someone saw me in the street, they could never remember my name, so they would say ,"hey um, um ­ original woman," and it kind of just stuck! Over time I have made the title my own, and I use it to bring awareness to cultural and body image issues, as well as sarcastically breaking down the gender binary.

Please tell us about Sistah Cypher. How does a five-venue poetry series work?

OW: Sistah Cypher is a national network of women empowerment through the form of art—in particular spoken word. The organization was started by me and two other international spoken-word artists, Queen Sheba and Kwintessential. What we do is go scouting for some of the most powerful artists, who are also hardcore activists in the communities, and showcase them through performance and workshops. We work on issues such as rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, pay equity, affirmative action, women in the military, LGBT awareness, the war against women, media madness against women, and other hot topics that affect women today. What differentiates us from most artistic projects out there is our action component. We are also out there organizing students and elders, putting together protests and rallies, educating the youth, going in the schools—we try our best to create change and not just talk about it. Right now we have venues in Washington, DC; Norfolk, VA; Chicago, IL; Durham, NC; and we have a brand-new venue in London. We are out hitting the concrete constantly bringing people into the movement through spoken word, and we are growing everyday. For the most part, one or more of our co-chairs travel to the city where the Sistah Cypher is being held at that time. We soon hope to build representation in every state. "It takes a village to raise a child—and a woman to raise the world!" (Superwoman, by the Original Woman)

You recently produced the Freedom Fire Spoken Word Festival and the "$1,000 Poetry Slam" in Washington, DC. How did they go? How did these projects come about?

OW: The Freedom Fire Spoken Word Festival was a project that was used to create and support artists in the social justice movement. I guess the best way to describe the Freedom Festival is that it is like a huge family reunion—yeah, a family reunion of artists and activists nationwide united for change. The Freedom Festival is an annual event held in different cities each year; this year it was in Washington, DC, and it was spectacular! Those who missed it this year will surely not want to miss it next year, when it will be held in Denver, Colorado. We try to teach artists of all forms how to learn to use their gift for changing the world. It's not enough to just teach any more. There are a lot of artists out there that think it's enough just to teach about social justice issues—and yes, we need that too—but it's not enough. We can't just talk about it; we have to be about it! That's what the Freedom Festival is about—working with artists to not only talk about it, but be about it. But we all have heard that "the revolution is financial," so in addition to working on the movement, the Freedom Festival works with artist to improve their booking and management as well. The Big Highlight of the festival is the $1000 poetry slam. The best of the best poets from all over the country come together for inspirational competition—and one leaves with slightly heavier pockets. It's not about the money though. The prize money is just a way to help a few of soldiers in the movement continue their artistic struggle.

What is your vision for a spoken-word movement?

OW: I don't know where the spoken-word movement is going. Although I perform spoken word, I don't consider myself a spoken-word artist. I'm just a soldier in the movement myself; I only use poetry as a tool to deliver the message. A lot of times you can't get everybody to go to a rally or a protest, or a meeting, so you have to find alternative ways to get the message across. All I know is that the movement will never die, because poets and artists around the world are keeping it alive. That's what keeps me breathing.

What's the best/worst experience you've had while touring/performing?

OW: Worst performance—I had a freak accident while touring through Georgia and South Carolina. I fell in the shower about a month prior and bruised my leg a little. It didn't seem to bother me that much, and it didn't scar. While I was on tour my leg started swelling up and it was becoming extremely painful. I didn't even think about the shower fall, because it had been at least a month prior. A week into the tour, my leg was so swollen that I couldn't walk on it, and I had to perform my shows sitting down. Two weeks into the road trip, I was on stage, and out of the blue, my leg burst open, and before I knew it I was standing in a puddle of blood. I know it sounds crazy! I was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the show, and I was hospitalized in the middle of Bum Fuck Egypt for 10 days! The good news about it is that it created an awesome piece called "Poets Spittin'in Blood!"

Best Performance—The March for Women's Lives—Washington, DC; April 24, 2004—Largest march in the history of the US. It was so powerful to see so many people united together for women's issues. Sometimes in the movement we feel like we're the only ones. But when I was on that stage and I looked out into the audience and saw groves of people further than my eyes could see, I felt the ultimate solidarity.

What are three essential things that you cannot go on tour without?

OW: A pillow and a blanket to sleep on (in case I have to rough it for the night)
Pencil and Paper to keep myself inspired
And CDs to Sell

What's the first thing you do when you get home from being on the road?

OW: Sleep! Sleep! And Sleep! Being on the road is hard! Don't believe the hype they tell you on TV. A lot of artists come into this thinking that being a full-time artist on the road is spectacular and fun. I had my feelings hurt a few times in the beginning with those expectations! As a spoken-word artist, you're often on the road for months with no money, no place to stay, no food, and no idea about how you are going to get to the next venue. There has been several times when I had to spend my last $2 getting to the venue, praying that I sell enough CDs for gas and food for the next couple of days, and hoping that someone would be gracious enough to let me sleep on their floor until my next gig. Floors are hard, and cars are crowded! We keep doing it, because we believe in the art and the movement. Sheba always says, "Hey, sleep when you're dead!" Most of the time I can't sleep more than 3 or 4 hours at a time when I'm on the road just because I'm uncomfortable, or it's cold, or I have to be aware of my surroundings, so the first thing I do when I get home is jump in my big cushy bed and fall into a coma!

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- Lets Do It On The Road


Article in Oral Essence Online Magazine

Feature Poet Article

By Chic



Original Article at www.oralessence.com under Feature Poet

Published January 2006





Chic: You are a beautiful woman with very political and intriguing lyrics. It is very obvious that you will not bite your tongue and you're determined to be heard. What are your expectations? What are you hoping to accomplish through spoken word?



Original Woman: When I first got involved with spoken word, I didn't really do it for the poetry or the art of it. I was about 14 in high school. There was a poetry contest going on that I won. They requested that I write another poem. I wrote this piece called "The Black Man's Pride". It was a little bit "in your face", something like what I do today. They cut the mic in the middle of my poem. They were like, "We don’t want to hear those issues." They cut the mic off and it hurt my heart and disappointed me so much I didn't know how to take it. Ever since they did that, I had to make a point not to let anyone oppress what I do. I used to go after school and spit poems at the bus stop. That's what started me doing poetry, not so much wanting to do poetry but I wanted people to make a change. I remember, the next day, people who saw me at the bus stop were going around with their fist up and I was like "Yeah, yeah..."(Laughs).



Chic: How did you come up with the name Original Woman?



Original Woman: When I was an undergrad, I used to go to this coffee house called "Ideas". One of the first poems I memorized was called "An Original Woman". It was about being full figured women and how full figured women are being disrespected and people want to make us look differently then we really are, talked about how the original women didn't have to wear make up, she was just her natural self. People couldn't remember my name so they were calling me original woman, "Hey, Original Woman!" because it was in the poem and it just kind of stuck, so then every time I came up to the stage they said "Original Woman".



Chic: You are reppin' Durham, NC. I lived in the Raleigh/Durham area for a brief moment. I don't recall seeing you around back then. I remember one of your slam team-mates "Langston-Fuze". How long have you been a spoken word artist?



Original Woman: I have been a full-time poet for 2 ½ years, part time for 2 so all together 4 years. I was doing the open mic thing until about 4 years ago. Then I decided I was going to do this full time. I decided that this is going to be my job. I know people thought I was crazy for giving up everything to do spoken word. I knew they were going to think I didn't know what I was doing, but you're a poet all your life. It's not something where you just wake up and say 'I'm going to be a poet'.



Chic: You were at the very controversial "finals stage" at the National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque. Being that you are from North Carolina, what is your take on the Charlotte, NC team versus the Albuquerque, NM team on the finals stage and the crowd’s reaction to it? (For those of you who weren’t there, the two teams went neck and neck in the finals. The Albuquerque team, who hosted the NPS, took the title. The Charlotte team did something similar to a protest on the stage and there was booing involved.)



Original Woman: Original Woman: I'm the type of person who strongly believes in supporting home, I grew up in a family where it doesn't matter if your brother is dead wrong you better take up for him if he is getting his butt whupped. Being that Charlotte is apart of NC my natural instinct is "that's family". If they say they were wronged, I support them wholeheartedly. I believe everyone should have the forum to speak when they feel they were wronged. I think that Albuquerque did an awesome job; they deserved the title they got. I personally liked Charlotte more than Albuquerque. I'm not being biased, I just like their style of poetry more then Albuquerque. I just think they were more coordinated. Being that I was on the slam circuit, I was able to watch the slam preparation that Charlotte was able to put into their pieces and they did a lot of work to perfect what they were doing.



Chic: You have received tons of accolades including making the top 10 list for the National Poetry Slam 2005. You were on BET's reality MIC check commercial. You have 3 CD’s and a chapbook. You have an organization called "The Freedom Project". You run one of the only national spoken word festivals called "The Freedom Fire Word Festival" among other things. On top of all of that you are currently pursuing your Doctorate degree in Denver, Colorado. You are a remarkable sister! You have your hands full! How do you come up with the time to write a poem?? What inspires you?



Original Woman: I've never been a person to write continuously, it takes me about 3 or 4 months to write a poem just because I may write 4 lines but then I have to come back to it a month later and add a line here and there, it takes me a long time. So, in a year's time I may only come up with 3 or 4 new pieces. I really have to plan out my days just like I have to really plan out my writing time. I still have trouble getting things done; I'm a big procrastinator because I have so much going on. I think I might have adult A.D.D.

If I don't have a lot of things on my agenda, then I don't get anything done at all because I have too much lag time I get lazy. I try to plan in, once a week, an hour worth of time to write something new. Throughout the week I may come up with a line, so when I take that hour a week I can put everything I was thinking about throughout the week or month into a poem.





Chic: I can definitely relate to your piece entitled "Last Exit before the Toll", that speaks about making bad decisions in relationships. Where were you 10 years ago? Can you give our viewers a little bit of background on that piece?



Original Woman: I wrote a piece last November when I first got in this relationship I felt like I don't know if this person is right for me, but maybe we can make it work. I grew up in a family where my grandmother stayed in a relationship for 50 years. They taught me to always make a relationship work, relationships are like a job, you make it work. As an adult I had the same mentality of no matter what you're going through or how bad they treated you, you have to make it work. One day I woke up and nothing bad in particular really happened in the relationship but at that point and I realized I'm hurting myself, I wondered "Why am I staying to make something work that's obviously not helping me?"

I started writing this piece, it initially started out as a journal entry, I really don't write journal entries anymore, it's just when I feel I have so much pent up, my journal entries turned into poems... it was my healing process after I write it, it was like a guide for me to remind me not to abuse myself.





Chic: It has been such a pleasure seeing you again. I know you have your hands wrapped around some great things. I look forward to hearing more great things about you and to seeing more captivating performances in the future. Now when you get that Doctorate degree, don't act like you don't know a sistah! Keep up the good work.



Original Woman: Thank you so much.



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- Oral Essence Online Magazine


The competition was intense, places won by tenths
and nearly all of the poetry was positive in nature!
The Original Woman tore through the event posting a
score of a perfect 30 each of the three rounds of the
final round - www.poetryslam.net


Myself and the slam team were at a slam in Vancouver friday night, a show which Nitche closed out. She took the stage after folks had already watched plenty of poetry and were getting tired and ELECTRIFIED the room. Nitche has incredible stage presence and a righteousness that needs to be heard. - Daemond Arridell: Seattle Slam master


Nitche Ward, AKA The Original Woman... powerful, political, feminist spoken word - www.civicmediacenter.org


Discography

Ego Revolution
2009 Album

The Addiction
2005 Album

The Messenger of Truth
2004 Album

Life... By Any Means Necessary!
2003 Album

Photos

Bio

First Internationally Recognized SuperPoet!

Now Ranked as one of the
TOP FIVE WOMEN OF THE WORLD SLAM POETS!

Ranked in the Top Ten Poets in the Nation! Southwest Shoot Out Regional Team Champion, 40oz Regional Team Champion! Slaughterhouse Champion! First Female Arkansas Grand Slam Champion! 2007 Denver, CO Slam Nuba City Champion! Durham, NC Bull City Slam Champion! Kansas City Last Poet Standing Champion! Baltimore LPS Champion! Nuyerican Champion! BET Mic Check Feature Poet! Poet! Spoken Word artists, promoter, host, activist, revolutionary, student, teacher, parent, artivist, lawyer, superpoet… The Original Woman has been given many titles. The most appropriate… people’s soldier.

Soldier? Yes…solider. The Original Woman has been fighting from conception. What happens to a seven year old who has to fight her parent’s crack cocaine addiction? What happens to a child forced to fight the prison industrial complex or watch her parents become victims of the criminal justice slave trade. What happens to a child told that everything about them was ugly? What happens to a “statistic” who becomes pregnant at 15, and aborts five pregnancies by her abusers by the time she turns 20? What happens to a someone whose entire family falls into the criminal justice system, so she becomes so disgusted with the legal system she becomes an attorney? What happens to a sexual assault victim who confronts their rapist? What happens…they become a people’s soldier. They become a poet. They become The Original Woman.

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