Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Next up on Slam poet Beau Sia
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Next up on Slam poet Beau Sia

Slam poet Beau SiaErin and I are finishing off 2009 on’s AAPI Empowerment Series with slam poet Beau Sia, on Tuesday, December 8 at 6 pm PT (9 pm ET).

If you haven’t heard of him, Beau Sia is a Chinese-American poet from Oklahoma City. He’s an artist who uses words as his paint and canvas, and his work has been widely showcased.

We caught his performance, which is equal parts stand-up comedy, speechifying, testifying and socio-political commentary, earlier this year when he visited Denver University. He’s funny as hell, intense as hell, powerful, super perceptive and thought-provoking. One of his best pieces is an open letter to Rosie O’Donnell that he wrote after she made “ching-chong” comments on national TV.

He’s fearless, and gives an important voice to Asian American Pacific Islanders that’s too often missing.

You may have seen him on the silver screen: Beau has been featured in the award-winning film “Slam” and the documentary “Slam Nation.” He’s also acted in “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Hitch” and “Rachel Getting Married.”

As an author, Beau wrote the book of poetry, “A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge.” Hi work also appears in several anthologies, including “Def Poetry Jam on Broadway,” “Why Freedom Matters” and “Spoken Word Revolution.”

Beau has two spoken word CDs, “Attack! Attack! Go!” and “Dope and Wack.” He was a recipient of the California Arts Council Writer-in-Residence grant for Youth Speaks in 2001-2002, and was the lead artist for the Creative Work Fund.

He’s appeared on all seasons of HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry,” and has also performed on ESPN’s 2000 Winter X-Games, “Showtime! at The Apollo,” and the 2003 Tony Awards.

He’s one of the original cast members of “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway,” which won a Special Event Tony Award in 2003, and toured with Norman Lear’s “Declare Yourself,” a project dedicated to increasing the number of young voters in 2004.

His one man show, “Fish Out of Water” won the 2004 Jury Prize for Best Alternative Show at the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado.

Recently, we hear he’s even been playing guitar and singing while on tour in Europe.

Phew — Beau keeps himself busy!

We’re looking forward to spending an hour with him. Meet him on, and you can submit questions to Beau on the webcast page, either before or during the interview. I bet he’ll be willing to perform a short piece for us during the call.

Here’s a sample of Beau’s funny, insightful and powerful work:

Here’s an audio slide show of one of Beau’s pieces from Denver earlier this year:

SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE LIVE INTERVIEW WITH BEAU AT 6 PM PDT (9 PM EDT) TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8! You can listen to the live interview over the phone (long distance charges may apply) or FREE via a webcast. You can also submit questions for Beau before and during the interview. If you miss the live event, you can listen to the interview for a limited time online.