Leah Marche: 2013 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Performing Art
You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2013 Finalists.
Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 27, Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.
Up today: Leah Marche
Performance poet Leah Marche, a Phoenix native, says she's always been active in the local arts scene. "My mom put me in pageants when I was little," she recalls, "and there'd always be that question, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' And I'd always say, 'I want to be a writer.'"
photos by Jamie Peachey
Her love of writing led her to college courses in journalism (she was the editor-in-chief of Glendale Community College's weekly) and, later, to a job as art director at a local music magazine. Journalism was great, but Marche secretly yearned to perform.
photo by Jamie Peachey
"The first time I got up the nerve to get up on the mic as a performance poet was in 2005," she admits. "I used to go to poetry slams to be inspired by others, then I'd go home and write. But I always challenge myself, and so I forced myself to go on stage. I've been addicted to performing poetry ever since."
That addiction led Marche to co-found Black Poet Ventures, a performance poetry group based in Phoenix, that same year. "Artists can be finicky and sensitive," she says, "and that can lead to a lot of disconnection among us. I wanted to create a place where poets were coming together, collaborating, supporting one another in creating great new work."