Douglas Powell/ Roscoe Burnems

Douglas Powell/ Roscoe Burnems | Poet, Slam Poet, Spoken-word Artist

Educational Background/Training

Douglas Powell has been a teaching artist since 2010 and has conducted workshops and worked regularly with the following schools and organizations: Virginia Randolph Education Center, James River Detention Center, Binford Middle School, Henderson Middle School, Henrico High School, Hermitage High School, Highland Springs High School, Hopewell High School, Richmond Public Library, Art 180, Community 50/50, Richmond Young Writers, Partner in the Arts, University of Richmond, and many other community organizations.

About the Artist/Ensemble

Richmond, Virginia native, Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems is the city’s first poet laureate. He is a published author, spoken-word artist, comedian, educator, and father who has dedicated his craft to entertaining and educating. In his time as an artist, he has been a three-time southern regional finalist (2009, 2014, 2022), National Poetry Slam Champion (2014), and two-time Underground Poetry  Slam Champion (2019, 2022). He has been a TEDx speaker, and a host for RVA Booklovers Festival.  Douglas Powell is creator of The Writer’s Den RVA Art Collective, a poetry based arts, education, and entertainment organization.  It conducts creative writing workshops through Central Virginia.  He is the author of three published works: Fighting Demons, Chrysalis 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.

Educational Program Description

  • Poetry as an Act of Resilience: using spoken-word as a therapeutic process.
  • Poetry as an Act of Activism: using spoken-word to facilitate conversations about social justice
  • Breaking Down Figurative: a workshop series that focuses on the main elements of figurative language and how they show up in spoken-word


  • Secondary (Middle/High School) Students
  • College/University Students
  • Adults
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