Spoken word artist Sunni Patterson to perform, present workshop Feb. 5-6

Sunni Patterson, one of the best-known spoken word poets of her generation, will perform Friday on the Vanderbilt campus and give a workshop Saturday at the Nashville Public Library.

Patterson will present “Fathers’ Hopes, Mothers’ Prayers” at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt. The performance is free and open to the public.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, Patterson will give a workshop on the creative process at the downtown Nashville Public Library. To attend the workshop, RSVP to

Patterson has been described as holding “oratorical skills akin to those of Martin Luther King Jr.” With a belief in the transformational role poetry and spoken word plays, her mission is to aid in the awakening, revival and remembrance of our gifts and voices, enabling us to move to a greater space of self-empowerment, creativity and actualization.

She has been a featured performer at many of the country’s premier spoken word venues, including HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and BET’s “Lyric Café.” She also has performed at the Panafest in Ghana, West Africa, and shared her work on several other international stages.

In addition, Patterson has worked with many well-known artists and performers, including Hannibal Lokumbe, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Sonia Sanchez, Wanda Coleman, Amiri Baraka, Mos Def, Eve Ensler, The Last Poets and many more. She has been honored with numerous awards, including two National Underground Spoken Word Poetry Awards for “The Most Inspirational Poet” in 2010 and 2011. She also received the Eve Ensler V to the Tenth Anti-Violence Movement Award for her work with Gulf Coast women and girls, and most recently the Toni Cade Bambara Award for Cultural Leadership.

These events are sponsored by the Wisdom Working Group Trans-Institutional Program; the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy; the Nashville Public Library; and The NPL Foundation, with additional support from the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, the African American and Diaspora Studies Program and Research Center, and the Program in Latino and Latina Studies at Vanderbilt.

For more information, contact