Poet and performer works social media, print to publicize his brand
Published: October 12, 2010
Rod Borisade has a Facebook page many might envy. He often pops up an off the wall thought and various friends in his group of more than one thousand respond. On a recent discussion, friends responded to a few lines Borisade wrote about a conversation with a “homeboy” and the result was the equivalent of an open source poem.
Kay B. Day
Borisade’s social media pages have a welcoming feel to all who come. But that’s a small part of the overall output of a poet and performer who calls himself ‘Odd Rod.’ Equally interesting is the path of this charismatic man who basically works two fulltime jobs—one for a steady income and another for love of art and community.
His father died of cancer when Rod was young. His mother struggled with drug addiction, often unable to care for him and his siblings. Those, said the poet, were “hard times.” He frequently lived with his grandmother, grandfather and aunt. Despite his situation, he actually liked school. “Education was my escape,” he said. “All I had was my own little world.”
|By the time he graduated from high school and earned a scholarship for
college, he was writing poems, sometimes getting out of bed to write
down the words he heard in his head. He did an internship for a major
Florida advertising agency and even wrote a poem for a commercial. Years
later, he would look back on his childhood and consider how things
turned out. “I defeated the odds,” he said.|
Those odds played a
major role in his outlook on life and art. Now in his mid-twenties,
Borisade performs at colleges and schools, organization meetings and
nightclubs. Incidentally, he can do schools on any age level because he
not only has recorded a spoken word CD, he’s written a children’s book Buddy and Bird, with illustrator Aaron Hazouri, a friend from college.
all that, he established a foundation honoring his brother who died
young. Borisade holds an annual gala to raise funds for Eric’s Life,
Inc. He has donated money to a community rehabilitation center and to
other area nonprofits. That event has grown so popular he’s had to find a
|In college Borisade majored in multimedia, and his
talents for that discipline are evident in the promotional cards and
materials he uses to publicize his events in print and online. He prints
small promo cards on heavy color stock to spread the word about
upcoming performances. He has a definite talent for graphic design—the
cards are professionally rendered. He promotes the children’s book and
other projects with a combination of online social media and print
materials as well.|
In his travels, Borisade has had some
interesting moments. He was invited to attend the Horatio Alger Awards
program. The award is named for Horatio Alger, Jr., the author who
overcame adversity by persevering and sticking to moral principles.
Borisade said at one ceremony, renowned songwriter David Foster called
him to the stage. The young poet wasn’t nervous despite the fact
American Idol Ruben Studdard had just performed. Borisade got up there
and did his thing. “When I step off the stage, you know me,” he said.
probably wouldn’t think of himself as a poet in the traditional sense.
But if you consider that poets were often the spiritual leader in
ancient societies, passing down history and culture via spoken word,
Borisade fits the model. He’s a poet and performer who is tapped into
his physical community as well as virtual communities like Facebook. He
delivers his storytelling in verse to audiences of all ages. Talk to him
for five minutes and his enthusiasm is contagious, evidenced by
memorable lines from one of his poems: “My heart’s my amplifier; I don’t
need no mic.”
On a recent Facebook post, he popped up the words
his “homeboy” said, and concluded, “Words weren't meant to be used like
this but rules in English are sometimes better broken. Poetry!” His
comments spurred a long post from his fans and friends, essentially a
found poem—a typical day for the poet who calls himself “Odd Rod”!
Florida journalist Kay B. Day has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. The author of two books, she has written for
The Christian Science Monitor, United Press International,
The Florida Times-Union and Sky News. To learn more about Kay Day, see www.kayday.com. To read Kay's other Web Savvy columns about writing for the Web, click here.