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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Michelle Obama

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

Since no one seemed to hold the door open for poets, I kicked it open myself

Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images

Despite spoken word’s steadily rising popularity, it’s been 30 years since a spoken word performance poet received a nomination for the Grammy “Best Spoken Word Album” award. And it was a thrill to be that poet.

While I didn’t win the Grammy in my category this year, I walked away with several huge wins from the awards show overall. To be nominated for music’s highest honor alongside former first lady Michelle Obama, hip-hop icons the Beastie Boys, cancer survivor Eric Alexandrakis, and filmmaker John Waters was a victory all on its own. To lose to the history-making, bestselling book Becoming—by…

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