Dahled Jeffries, Director, National Poetry Slam

Dahled Jeffries

Interview: How to overcome dyslexia and become a slam poetry master with Dahled Jeffries

Dahled Jeffries is Director of the National Poetry Slam and Oakland Slam. He overcame dyslexia, learned to loved reading, and now is a thought leader in the US slam poetry movement. We talk about the life of a poet.

Below is a summary of our interview:


The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is. It’s to imagination what is possible – bell hooks

His Journey

The product of a Jewish mother and Black father who grew up in the 70s and 80s we touch on Dahled struggles with dyslexia, falling in love with words, and how he got into the poetry scene.

Low Point

Dahled had struggles in school because he could not read like other children. He had to learn via sight reading.

Aha Moment

When arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area he discovered a robust slam poetry scene. In a short time, he discovered the national poetry slams.

Dahled’s work now  

Dahled coordinates the Oakland Slam Poetry team as well as the US National Poetry Slam. We chat about the excitement of bring so many performing artists together.

What’s exciting Dahled now

Dahled is excited about bring the 25th anniversary of the National Slam to his hometown of Oakland.

Lightning Round

Books Dahled Recommends:

The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty and Angry Black White Boy by Adam Mansbach

Helpful Habit: Get comfortable being uncomfortable

Helpful Person: Mom and Mona Webb – San Francisco Slam Director

Internet Resource: Poetry Prompts

What’s Your Purpose: Creating a space for creative types to connect with audiences

Where to follow Dahled

Twitter: @DahledJeffries

Find him on Facebook: Dahled Jeffries

Parting Words

Just do it.

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One More Thing

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Derrick Duplessy

Executive Director at Duplessy Foundation
Derrick has coached 500+ executives in 10 years as an executive coach. He runs Duplessy Foundation which is dedicated to creating meaningful careers for everyone. He also hosts Purpose Rockstar, a daily show on iTunes where he shares the career stories of a variety of guests.

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