Artists

Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems, poet

Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems

Richmond Virginia native, Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems is a poet, published author, spoken-word artist, comedian, educator, father, and husband who has dedicated his craft to entertaining and educating. 

Performance poetry has afforded him the opportunity to enlighten and entertain crowds across the country; he’s been seen everywhere from coffee shops and schools, to universities, theaters, and arenas. In 2019 he added a TEDx Talk to his list of accomplishments, speaking at a TEDxYouth event in November of 2019. He is no stranger to community and youth engagement. He has been a staple in the Arts Education scene for years and highlights arts integration as a host for PBS/VPM’s The Art Scene.   

As a “slam poet” he has been a two-time regional finalist (2009, 2014), National Poetry Slam Champion (2014), NPS Group Piece Finalist (2018), and NUPIC/Underground Slam Champion (2019). He is the founder and member of The Writer’s Den Poetry Slam team and collective. With Roscoe as a coach The Writer’s Den has been consistently ranked top 10 in the country. As a poetry slam coach he also took the VCU poetry slam team to be ranked 3rd in the world (2018).  In addition to the putting on poetry-based events and poetry slams, the collective -consisting of mostly poets, but also songwriters, bloggers, and visual artists- conducts writing and performance  workshops for youth and adults.

Douglas hasn’t limited his passion to competitions. He is the author of three published works: Fighting DemonsChrysalis Under Fire, and God, Love, Death and Other Synonyms. He has also been published in over a dozen literary magazines and journals, including: Freeze Ray Magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Scene & Heard, Into Quarterly, Beltway Quarterly, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Rise Up Review.poet” he has been a two-time regional finalist (2009, 2014), National Poetry Slam Champion (2014), NPS Group Piece Finalist (2018), and NUPIC/Underground Slam Champion (2019). He is the founder and member of The Writer’s Den Poetry Slam team and collective. With Roscoe as a coach The Writer’s Den has been consistently ranked top 10 in the country. As a poetry slam coach he also took the VCU poetry slam team to be ranked 3rd in the world (2018).  In addition to the putting on poetry-based events and poetry slams, the collective -consisting of mostly poets, but also songwriters, bloggers, and visual artists- conducts writing and performance  workshops for youth and adults.  

Roscoe recently tapped into stand-up comedy with his groundbreaking special Traumedy, combining funny stories, jokes, wit, and sarcasm intertwined into prolific spoken word poems. The special has been featured in several magazines in Richmond, VA and is currently streaming. Comedy has been a quiet first love for him and he is now using it as another medium to shedding light on taboo topics. 

Douglas Powell/ Roscoe Burnems has become a layered performer using his many talents to discuss trauma, resilience, and the human experience.