About

Poetry719 is a community poetry organization in Colorado Springs that fosters and supports the freedom of expression through the written and spoken word. We focus on uplifting and celebrating voices of marginalized communities and people of color. As a black run organization, we aim to create safe, inclusive, and accessible events. We put on 3-4 events a month including open mics, discussion pannels, movie showings, volunteer opportunities with nonprofits,  and themed poetry nights. Our tag line is "Art Aint Free" and we pride ourselves on paying artists and providing performance opportunities. 

 

Our call back is "We do Stuff" and we aim to do stuff for the whole community. We invite you to join us at our events, meet our community, and be inspired by poetry. 

 

We were founded as a small Facebook group in 2009 and became an event and community engagement group in 2018. We believe that everyone’s voice is valuable, important, and deserves to be heard. Our events focus on various topics such as spirituality, womxn of color, grief and loss, as well as our longest-running event, Colorado Black Voices Matter, which won the “Recurring Poetry Event” award from the Pikes Peak Arts Council in 2018. We also put together an annual poetry festival that highlights the amazing artistic talent Colorado Springs has to over. 

We believe your voice is importnat and deserves to be heard!

Our Mission

To uplift and amplify the voices of marginalized communities and people of color through poetry and community engagement. 

 

Our Vision

Increase awareness of artistic talent in Colorado Springs with specific focus towards marginalized groups and people of color. Provide safe space for healing, growth, fellowship, and community for the city. Promote and support poet development throughout the lifespan. 

Meet the Team

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Philip "Midnight" Curtis

Founder

Writer, performance poet and mentor, Philip J. Curtis, is a native New Yorker with roots in Jamaica West Indies, who arrived on the Colorado Springs scene in 2006. Mr. Curtis established luvsaverb.com in 2007. Combining his love of music with the words of his poetry, the website presents a diverse collection of his works. Mr. Curtis is recognized as a SPEAKOUT poet, which is based out of Denver, and a Raw Colorado Springs Artist. Mr. Curtis is also an avid community steward. He has facilitated poetry workshops at high schools as well as discussion groups throughout the community. He supports nonprofit organizations such as CASA, Lupus Foundation, Finding Our Voices and Art for Ashes.  ​

 

In 2009 he established Poetry 719 on Facebook, to foster and support the freedom of self-expression in spoken and written word through community connection, education and poetic unity for all ages. In 2018 Poetry719 turned into an organization aiming to uplift and celebrate the voices of the community, with special focus on marginalized groups and people of color. Mr. Curtis has also traveled and performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Austin, Texas; Washington, DC at Bus Boys and Poets, as well as the Kilmat Lounge, Second Saturday, and Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City Mr. Curtis’ motto: “is it fair to have someone stifle their creative genius simply because others might not find it appealing?" 

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Christopher Beasley

Co-Director

Christopher "Beas J" Beasley is an accomplished poet and organizer in the community. He has been performing for about 10 years and got his start helping create Hear Here Poetry in 2009 and forming Word Wednesday Open Mic. He competed on 4 Hear Hear slam teams and in 2014 was on the team that won Group Piece Finals at NPS. Chirs continued to invest in the poetry community and sat on the board of Hear Here for 2 years. He has performed around Colorado Springs and Denver and leaves a lasting impression wherever he goes. In 2017 Chris started Colorado Black Voices Matter Open Mic, design to give voices to black poets and performers in Colorado Springs. This event grew and in 2018 the event received the best recurring poetry event by the Pikes Peak Arts Council (PPAC). Additionally, Chris also won the Literary leadership award from PPAC.  He has featured for the NAACP, The Shop Open Mic, and other local venues. In 2018, Chris branched out and helped transform Poetry719 into an event and poetry organization and is the Co-Director. Chris plans and facilitates monthly events, workshops, and discussions through poetry719 and is a large part of the cities increased poetry scene.  

Ashley Cornelius

Co-Director

Ashley Cornelius is a spoken word poet in Colorado. She graduated with a master's in International Disaster Psychology from DU. She focuses on providing creative therapy for adolescents through poetry therapy and is currently working as a therapist in Denver and lives in Colorado Springs. Her poems reflect her personal struggles and journey as a young black woman She aims to inspire, empower, and tell a story of truth and depth. Ashley has a background in poetry education and was the Program Director of an arts nonprofit in Denver focused on poetry workshop and curriculum. She has won four Hear Here Poetry Slams in Colorado Springs. She was the Women of the World Poetry Slam Colorado Springs representative and competed in Dallas at Nationals in March 2018. She has been featured at Keep Colorado Springs Queer open mic, the Black Voices Matter Open Mic, the NAACP, Pikes Peak Community College, the Colorado Springs Women's March, At the Ink Well and events in Denver and Colorado Springs. Ashley is the Co-Director of Poetry 719 and has planned multiple community events in Colorado Springs included the Poetry 719 festival. Ashley was nominated for two 2018 Pikes Peak Art Council (PPAC) awards and won best recurring poetry event. Ashley is committed to using poetry as a platform to speak up and out for marginalized groups and be a voice for those who have been silenced.

We Do Stuff

We do stuff like this website sometimes. 

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