Photo: McKenzie Johnson
Holly Bass is a one-woman creative organisation. She has momentum. She creates beautifully rhythmic poetry, runs open-mike nights, contributes articles to well-respected arts journals, teaches writing in her community and I haven´t even mentioned her amazing talent as a dancer and performing artist yet. Holly wears many hats, but, like most artists, she has also had to learn how to strike a balance between creative activities and administrative tasks, such as grant-writing, in order to allow her artistic energy to come to fruition.
California-born Holly grew up in a working-class African-American family. She did not, however, allow what could be perceived as her social disadvantages to hold her back in the pursuit of a career in the arts. She went on to graduate from Columbia University in New York with a Master’s in Journalism.
One of Holly´s most high-profile accomplishments is being the first person to put the term “hip hop theatre” into print, which she did in a 1999 American Theatre article. She was also one of the founding members of WritersCorps in Washington DC and continues to work as a teaching artist in schools, colleges and community centres there.
Holly takes the inspiration for her writing from the musicality of language and, if possible, her poetry should be either read aloud or listened to.
- Claire Hart
Photo: YTanou Photography
Holly Bass is a writer and performer. A Cave Canem fellow, her poems have appeared in Callaloo, nocturnes (re)view, Role Call, Beltway and The Ringing Ear. Her work has been presented at respected regional theaters and performance spaces such as the Kennedy Center, the Whitney Museum and the Experience Music Project. At Sarah Lawrence College she studied modern dance under Viola Farber and creative writing before earning a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University. She has received several grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and was one of twenty artists nationwide to receive the Future Aesthetics grant from the Ford Foundation/Hip Hop Theater Festival.
Want to know when Holly is performing next? Check out http://www.hollybass.com/ for more info.
“Invocation”, written and performed by Holly Bass with guitar accompaniment by Taimoor Saeedi.
“Poem for My Father”, written and performed by Holly Bass with guitar accompaniment by Taimoor Saeedi.
“Gleam”, written and performed by Holly Bass with guitar accompaniment by Taimoor Saeedi.
“Seven Crown Man”, written and performed by Holly Bass.
“Underground”, written and performed by Holly Bass with bass accompaniment by Herman Burney.
The DNA of Perseverance produced and edited by Chris Keener as part of a segment for the DC Arts Commission.
Claire Hart has two great loves: art and communication. She enjoys communicating about art. Breaking down and exploring barriers to communication is how she earns her living. She lives her life partly in German and partly in English, but always in colour.