Photos by Daniel Johnson
THE SHORT OF IT
Natalie Patterson is a highly acclaimed African American poet and teaching artist. Over the last 15 year, she has traveled the country teaching and performing at universities, colleges and high schools. Natalie leaves no topic untouched from inspiration to social justice. She was the first female producer and host of the nation's largest poetry venue, Da Poetry Lounge, President of Sister Support and has worked extensively in non-profit, education and with major brands like Sephora and SoulPancake. Over the last year, Natalie has been teaching poetry as a healing tool to incarcerated youth in Los Angeles.
THE LONG VERSION
Natalie Patterson is a poet with the heart of a photographer, she is about capturing a moment. In 2002, while seated on a beanbag in a crowded poetry venue Natalie felt the spark. She had never shared one of her poems and even writing outside of a journal was new. With a few poems, dedication and a bunch of passion Natalie went on to make the Los Angeles Slam team, get accepted to NACA and book a full college tour then opened a monthly poetry venue, The Siren Collective. Natalie soon began developing her own curriculum and her love of teaching emerged stronger than ever. At the recommendation of a fellow poet, the legendary Stan Lathan asked her to facilitate a poetry based educational event, after a job well done he followed with an offer to join the cast of Debbie Allan's Def Poetry ALL star show.
The spirit of contribution always extremely central to Natalie’s life work she continued to support the nations largest weekly poetry venue, Da’ Poetry Lounge (the venue she began in) nearly every week since 2003. As a result of that commitment and dedication in 2010, she become the first female producer and host in the 16-year history. That same year, Natalie developed and facilitated innovative poetry programs for under-resourced youth as Director of Poetry for Collective Voices Foundation, teaching eight classes a week at five different schools.
In a series of fortunate events, Natalie left the familiar of Da' Poetry Lounge after a decade to focus on building her own brand. In January 2014, Natalie and her work were featured on the entire season of SoulPancake's "That's What She Said" web series. SoulPancake has over two million global subscribers, shooting Natalie from a local market into the world. While the international success has given her a larger audience and platform, Natalie remains grounded in her goal to change the world one poem at a time.
Natalie is currently working on her first sound installation, she serves as Lead Teaching Artist at Street Poets, and is regularly performing throughout the nation. She is President of Sister Support, a non-profit seeking to empower and support women artists and entrepreneurs.
Natalie resides in Los Angeles. She enjoys love notes, working in the middle of the night, waking up after 10 a.m., black tea, baths, spending Sunday’s in love and being promptly paid for her art.