Poetic Justice is an event curated by Emancipate NC featuring artists, including currently incarcerated people, to share stories and spoken word about the criminal injustice system and how we overcome it. This annual fundraiser event celebrates beauty and joy within a world that tries – but never succeeds – to silence and cage us. This year’s event featured poetry from talented artists such as Hausson Byrd, K.y.d Kazi, Chasyn Sparks, Sunguh, and Nick Courmon, as well as contributions from our incarcerated friends, Ashlee Inscoe, Phillip Vance Smith II, and Chris Ridley.

Nick Courmon read a poem written by Emancipate NC’s client, Phillip Vance Smith, II, an individual serving Life Without Parole in a North Carolina prison: 

A moral dilemma, white public pretender, white state prosecutor, white jury led in. Who is for a person? Pretty blonde soft blue eyes or a balding man grimacing to scrutinize this dark smudge on his stark white shirt. What difference does it make? One must read the unanimous verdict […[

Chasyn Sparks read poems written by Emancipate NC’s client Ashley Inscoe, an intersex and transgender woman individual serving time in a North Carolina men’s prison:

Press five now, three words connecting two worlds, bridging the gap between despair and delight. Press five now a hesitation in my heart has caused a ripple to move through my body. So close, yet so far apart. Press five now, how can I be happy in a place like this? Abandon, I am not a person anyone will miss. Press five now […]
You can view all the performances from this year’s Poetic Justice event on Emancipate NC’s YouTube page!