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Slam Poet Odd?Rod to Appear Feb. 22

Slam Poet Odd?Rod will perform at noon on Feb 22 in the South Commons of the Acadian Center as part of the Campus Activities Board's EmpowerU Information Fair. The Information Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Slam poetry is spoken word poetry that is frequently politicized by drawing upon racial, economic and gender injustice as well as current events for subject manner. The public is invited to attend the presentation.

Odd?Rod is an author, recording artist and philanthropist raised in Jacksonville, Fla. His tumultuous childhood was a result of his mother's drug addiction and an absent father. School provided solace to Rod and he excelled academically. The death of his 16-year old brother, Eric, was a blow for 13-year old Rod, but provided him with motivation to succeed.

Rod received a full scholarship to the University of North Florida, where he earned a degree in graphic design with a concentration in multimedia. He took up poetry as an outlet for his troubles and continued the hobby at UNF while hosting Open Mic sessions for poets and artists. He uses his current moniker to stand apart from his peers as well as to show he's unafraid of begin considered odd. His conversational tone and use of plain English endeared him to his audiences, who were able to relate to his life's difficulties.

After graduating, Rod authored three poetry books: Simply Put, Simple Still and Visions Thru the P.O.O.R. (Poetry of Odd Rod). In 2006 he wrote "Dying Flowers," a poem used in a gun bounty campaign. He was commissioned to write and star in the "See it, Say it, Stop it" Crime Prevention Campaign commercials as well as the "Let's Do This" NFL promotional campaign starring Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis.

Rod began speaking at rehabilitation centers, churches and schools where he focused on what can be achieved through hard work and determination despite difficulties and obstacles. In 2007 he began to organize educational fundraisers to raise awareness of non-profit organizations and in doing so, founded Eric's Life, Inc. in honor of his late brother. In 2009 he became a children's book author and recording artist with the release of the book, Buddy and Bird and his CD, The Art of Plain English.



February 11, 2013