Faylita Hicks’ work discovers the innate spirituality of the individual; a spirituality that is often translated into the embodiment of the metaphors dance and music. Her work aspires to encourage both self-awareness and self-actualization by addressing the topics of social awareness, religion, gender and sexuality.
The stage becomes the griot’s front yard and the stories that are told come in many forms and voices. Whether rediscovering the woman as a Goddess or witnessing the transformation of the self in Rhapsody, Hicks’ poems and performances strive to initiate an honest conversation about who we are as impossibly complex, spiritual beings by taking a hard and thorough look at human trafficking, sexual abuse, homelessness and mental sickness. Invoking her own personal experiences with these realities, she encourages the audience to learn and grow with her into a better understanding of the purposeful life. Letting the song of the self lead the design of the work, rhythm and movement become an integral part of the performance. The arch of transformation in the poetry eventually leads both artist and audience to a newfound hope to be shared together, in communion.
Hicks has made Austin, TX her permanent residence after several years of traveling from state to state as an Army brat. The eldest of four in her single parent home and a First Generation college graduate, the formerly “at-risk” student has begun to witness profound success within the Spoken Word community. She has competed at several National Poetry Slams as a member of the two-time NPS Finalists, the Austin/Neo Soul team and also as a member of the legendary Austin Poetry Slam team. In 2009, she became the first female Grand Slam Champion for the Austin Poetry Slam as well as the first Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion and representative for APS. She was a finalist and ranked 10th at the National WOWPS event that year and would return to represent Austin in 2010 and 2011. She was also the first woman to become a top five finalist in the $10,000 online Poetry Slam at www.famecast.com. In 2008, she would be honored at the Austin Toros Heritage Night Half time show for her individual achievement in the community through her art.
Since 2003, she has performed, hosted events and facilitated workshops at schools and festivals in Texas and all around the country, including The Austin International Poetry Festival, the Zonta’s Human Trafficking Awareness Annual Event, Breakthrough Collaborative, Gamma Sigma Sigma’s Regional Events, Warehouse 508, Austin’s Pecan Festival, SXSW, EXSE, the African American Leadership Conference, Texas State’s Black and Latino Playwright’s Conference, Hip Hop Congress Festival, The University of Texas, Texas State University, St. Edward’s University, Frostburg University, Prairie View A&M, University of Texas in San Antonio, Austin Community College, Albuquerque State Jail, Hays County Juvenile Detention Center and more.
Her work has won several awards and was published in This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces, the Austin International Poetry Festival’s Annual Anthology di-verse-city, and the Austin American-Statesman’s Poetry Slam. Her third Spoken Word Album, Rip Da Mic, was released in the Spring of 2011. She has shared the stage with nationally renowned poets Cyrus Cassells, Camille Dungey, Big Poppa E, Patricia Smith, Ed Mabrey, Roger Agair-Bonard, Billy Tuggle, Rachel McKibbens, Gypsee Yo, Joaquin Zihuatanejo, Zach Kluckman, Jessica Helen-Lopez and more.
In the fall of 2008, she founded her first company, A Poet’s Tribe Collective, to encourage the growth of individual artists and to promote the artist’s involvement in the community. APTC funded and promoted her first national tour with Spoken Word Artist Michelle Desiree, The Experience Tour. In 2011, she founded and is the current Slam Master for the Rip Da Mic Poetry Slam in San Marcos, TX. In May 2011, she began her three month Midwest and East Coast solo-tour, Rip Da Mic. After being accepted into Texas State University’s MFA Creative Writing program in 2010, she now splits her time between working on her Master’s degree and traveling the country performing and leading workshops.
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Listing last updated: October 8, 2015