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Meet Marquan Nesbitt of Quan The Poet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marquan Nesbitt.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA I was always different from other boys in the neighborhood. I didn’t like sports as much or cars or even playing outside. I would get bullied a lot for being more feminine and always hanging around girls. It led me into a state of anger, depression, lashing out and my first suicide attempt. Some good friends of mine took me to our counselor, and she made me sit in her office and write out what I was feeling. When I finally did the exercise, I felt like a weight had been lifted from me. From that day, writing became a hidden piece of me. In my teens, I found a love for music, movies, and entertainment. One day I saw this show Def Poetry Slam on HBO where poets showcased their work. I immediately fell in love and wanted to do what each poet was doing on that stage. I started to simple little poems at first but when I came out as gay at the age of 17, my poetry began to take a turn. The backlash I received from family, friends, society and even the gay community at times effected me. I used it to fuse my poetry and writing.

In 2015, I self-published my first collection of poetry titled “Reflections,” it reflected on everything I had been through up into that point in my life. Although I had released the book, I was still very shy and timid to go out into the world and share my poetry with others. As my life progressed and I made many bad decisions I never stopped writing. Struggling with depression, anxiety, cocaine and alcohol addiction for many years. It wasn’t until August of 2018 when my one and only brother had passed away. My brother was my biggest supporter, and he used to always tell me, Quan, you got to do something with your poems. I always had the desire to do something with my poetry but lacked the confidence and will power to follow-up with action. After he had passed, I realized I was sitting on a gift that could be used to help many people and keeping my poetry to myself was being selfish.

I decided I was going to take the leap of faith and just jump, in 2019 I released my poetry book “The Struggle” a wide-ranging collection of poems speaking to the hardships and struggles I have faced in my 27 years of life, Following up I released my first poetry single titled “Numb” and started performing at open mic nights all over Los Angeles. I am now competing in poetry slams, open mic nights and even teaching some poetry workshops around Los Angeles. I found that once I opened myself up and shared my gift that doors started to open. I plan to take my poetry to the next level. I am working on a spoken word album to be released later in 2020, another poetry book and my first novel. I have to say my journey has been rough, but I am glad it went the way it did because it has made me exactly who I need to be for this world.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road of an artist is never easy. My main struggles are with myself, accepting who I am and understanding that my voice matters. Going out and networking with other poets and writers is hard as I am naturally shy and stay to myself. Self- publishing, editing and promoting can be time-consuming but it has to be done. Being confident in myself and my poetry is the biggest struggle that I fight to overcome.

Please tell us about Quan The Poet.
I am a poet/writer, most known for my poetry book “The Struggle” and performing poetry around the city of Los Angeles. Being a queer poet, my poetry speaks to the experience of being black and queer in America, mental health, and the tragedy that is my love life. I think what sets me apart from other poets is the honesty and rawness in my poetry, I am very in your face and not scared to go there on any topic or idea.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family and friends have played a huge role in my poetry by being the inspiration for many poems. As well, Matthew Cuban-Hernandez and Alyesha Wise-Hernandez of SpokenLit assist me by being my poetry mentors. They have taken me under their wing and taught me more about writing and performing poetry. As well as assisting them with teaching workshops. Spaces like Da Poetry Lounge (DPL) who have provided a space for poets to come and share their stories for over 20 years.

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Image Credit:
Tru3logic Photography and Justin Lucas

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