It’s a warm October Thursday night in Atlanta. A crowd begins to assemble inside the small yet modern bar ONE. The crowd, mostly women are anxiously waiting and congregating around plush white couches for the clock to turn ten, and see their on T.V. home girl slash gladiator, Olivia Pope work her infallible magic.
Meanwhile inside the bar, a live web broadcast is underway, and counting down to the Scandal premier. Spoken word artist, Darrell Mitchell is the feature guest and performs a Scandal poem flowing about the political shenanigans to commemorate the affinity for the television drama.
This is a typical night for Mitchell. Whether performing to a crowd, mentoring other poets, and conducting radio shows, he speaks and writes for a living. Not only does the power in his words elicit responses from audiences, the words are building a sustainable business infrastructure for him and other poets.
Growing up in Pacoima California, a small suburb outside of Los Angeles, poetry as a career was not in his purview. Although, in third grade, he won a poetry contest. For most of his childhood, he hid the talent in fear of emasculating taunts from the homies. The interest didn’t swell until his senior year in high school after viewing a poetry slam in Los Angeles.
“At that point, I felt like I was around people who understood how I wrote and why I wrote.” Mitchell continues, “From that, it inspired me to continue on”.
That sparked a flurry in writing of short stories and poems, but it wasn’t until later in college where he got enough initiative to perform at an open mic. He was a nervous wreck pre and post-performance but got mad props from the audience.
“The first time I performed I was so nervous I couldn’t even read the words off the paper because I was shaking like this on stage. The paper was shaking so much that’s all you saw.”
Today, he churns a massive library of intellectual property that includes short stories, poems, scripts and books. With DM Ink Publishing, he looks to build a team, and exponentially increase the amount of literary content in the market to develop a hub where kids and adults can entertain.