TRUTH AND GREATNESS
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
5.5 x 8.5 in / 216 x 140 mm
Hardcover / B&W Interior / 114 pp
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Authors: Steffani Jemison, Michael Graham, Khorey Smith
Part 1: A book by Steffani Jemison based on a poem commissioned from Houston-based spoken word performers Truth and Greatness. The narrative represents the creative process of the poets as they write, including their conversations about language, politics, street literature, the art world, Wu-Tang Clan. Part 2: A third-person autobiography written by Truth and Greatness about Steffani.
Steffani Jemison is an artist and writer. Recent screenings and exhibitions include Spaces Gallery, Cleveland; Unspeakable Projects, Chicago; Eel Space, Chicago; the UCLA Wight Biennial, Los Angeles; the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; and UnionDocs, Brooklyn. Upcoming exhibitions include Project Row Houses (Houston), and LA><ART (Los Angeles). She is also active as a critic and curator: her writing has recently been published in ART LIES and I Like Your Work: Art & Etiquette, and she has curated exhibitions and time-based programs for Light Industry, The Museum of Arts and Design, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She was a 2008 resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is currently a Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and an artist-in-residence at Project Row Houses, also in Houston. Steffani received a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Houston and works in Houston and New York.
Michael (“Truth”) Graham is a poet and emcee. For two years, he co-organized the Secret Word Poetry reading series in Houston, Texas, which brought dozens of nationally-recognized urban poets and musicians to Houston. He has performed individually and in collaboration with Khorey “Greatness” Smith at poetry slams in Texas, New Mexico, and Philadelphia. This spring, he will represent Texas Southern University as part of the Poetry and Politics slam team at an international competition in Berlin as well as the Collegiate University Poetry Slam Competition being held at Texas Southern University. He earned his B.B.A Marketing from TSU in 2010. With his business partner Reginald “DJ Regg” Collier II, Truth co-owns Signature Eventx, a DJ Entertainment & Lighting Company. The nickname “Truth” stands for “The Real U Tries Hard,” meaning “If I didn’t get what I wanted then, I didn’t try hard enough: I should succeed in every aspect of my life. “ The nickname “Truth“ was given to me by family members and friends and was never self-imposed. I have been writing poetry since 2007 and feel that poetry is a God’s given gift. I use my poetry to educate and achieve a better understanding of the world around me.
Khorey (“Greatness”) Smith is a writer and artist. Since early 2009, he has worked as a freelance creative and commercial photographer serving clients throughout Texas. As a poet, he has performed individually and in collaboration with Michael “Truth” Graham at poetry slams in Houston, Albuquerque, and Philadelphia. He is the 2010-2011 president of Poetry and Politics, a performance team at Texas Southern University. He is currently a student at TSU, where he is completing his first novel. Khorey’s stage name was given to him by Nefertari Raven, the founder and former president of Poetry and Politics. She whispered it in his ear and told him: “if anyone fits the description of being great, you do”. The name has stuck to the present day.