We are ecstatic to share with you our first interview. We stumbled upon a stylish brother of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity inc. brother and a Florida International University award-winning poet; allow me to introduce you to Roojerry Dangervil. Some clap, some “ooh”, and even I awed at the words that he shared with us that seemed so effortless. Mr.Dangervil touches on issues like Black men and mental health, misogyny, and his love life.
You’re a poet and a very good one at that. How did you get into poetry and when did you realize okay this is me and this is what I want to do?
“I actually used to be a rapper (Laughs).”
“One day, one of my mentors approached me and realized that my rapping style had a more poetic flow. He took the time to introduce me to Spoken Word. I was in awe and inspired at the same time, and it was at that moment I knew that I wanted to be a poet. Poetry was just different, you didn’t have to portray something you weren’t, and it was okay to be myself.”
How do you think writing poetry has helped you in your lifetime and can help others?
“Poetry has literally saved my life.”
“It’s the gateway I use to express myself and is the therapeutic activity I go to whenever I need to relax or blow off some steam. It’s always a blessing to hear how my words have impacted someone who’s dealt with the same struggles that I convey in my pieces. It’s humbling to hear how your words have changed someone’s life or mindset. The power of words to completely impact and change someone’s way of life and thinking is extremely underrated and something that I do not take for granted.”
Do you often write poems or come up with poems that you just aren’t willing to share because of the emotions you may get from them?
“I always say for every poem I release to the world, there are about 10 poems that I can never say out loud. Emotions definitely run deep with every poem I write that pertains to a portion of my life, and at times the memories and feelings can get the best of me.”
What would you say to men who are shy to try creative writing or who have been unwilling to pick up that pen?
“I think some men haven’t been introduced to it as a valuable outlet, others just simply don’t think that expressing their feelings through writing can help. There are plenty brilliant minds who will never be noticed simply because they shy away from the pen either due to peer pressure or lack of belief in themselves.”
What do you think of keep a journal? Do you do it? Is there a big difference in journal and writing poetry?
“I always wanted to journal! I think its dope to chronicle your adventures and then being able to go back months later and seeing the obstacles that you have overcome, and the experiences that you now cherish. I never took it seriously although I probably should have.”
“To journal, at least to me, can show the growth of you as a person while Poetry is your growth as an artist, but I do believe that the two cross paths every now and then.”
In your poetry you talk a lot about mental health, social justices, and love. Do you think that your poem ever gets in to the ears of those who might need to hear it the most?
“I definitely do, my Black Mental Matters piece has definitely touched the hearts and minds of those who have heard and I often get messages from individuals who are depressed and have considered suicide and I’m able to guide them to getting better and seeking help. My other pieces serve their purpose and judging by the feedback hearts are touched, lives are affected, and people are pleased.”
As a gentleman yourself, what do you consider to be the biggest quality that a gentleman should have?
“The biggest quality a gentleman should have is poise. The ability to command attention and respect upon entering the room without having to say a word.”