Poet, Minister, Teacher, Drummer
His work has appeared in Essence, Jet, The Black Nation, the Black American Literature Forum, The Community College Review, Race Today, Haymarket, and other periodicals. Greg Powell is poet, drummer, teacher, and community based minister of encouragement. His roots hail from Chicago’s Pullman community, where he grew up with his younger sister in a tightly knit working family. Many of Powell's poems, like Dear Old Dunbar, reflect his parents' legacy and experiences coming of age in South Side Chicago. Encouraged by mentor, Quincy Troupe, he earned an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University.
After Columbia, he taught language arts at CIS-229 in the Bronx and writing at the College of New Rochelle. After returning to Chicago, Greg served as a specialized adolescent case worker for Catholic Charities of Chicago. There, among other duties, he organized camps and excursions for youth. Adventures included trips to the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, McComb Plantation, Washington Monument, and Harlem.
Greg currently serves as Minister of Pastoral Care at New Faith Baptist Church International. He also supports Youth Ministry at the Matteson, Illinois church. On occasion, Powell teaches poetry at the Michelle Obama School in Park Forest IL.
Among a wide variety of performance and speaking engagements, Greg considers himself ".. immeasurably enriched by opportunities to study under and perform poetry with Quincy Troupe, Sterling Plumpp and the late Amiri Baraka."
He's been married to Deborah Ann Powell for 25 years, and together they have two sons, Jair, 22 and Jonathan, 16.
What others say...
"Greg Powell is a gifted poet who shows, in his poems, a fine command of language and rhythm. It is the language and rhythm of the Black American minister, and blues musician. In some of his poems, the poet attempts to approximates the driving intensity of the best jazz musicians. His strength is in his use of that jazz/blues idiom." Quincy Troupe
"There is an indignation and a lot of rhetoric in most of his poems, which should perhaps be recited aloud to a broad popular audience rather than read on the printed page. At times, such as in 'Sonny Rollins vs. John Coltrane,' he adopts a more traditional ballad form, inherited from Spirituals and such earlier Black poets as Dunbar." Edouard Roditi
"My heart is full as I witness this labor of love come to fruition. As I read, and experience all over again, the expressions of Greg's heart, I know God has blessed me with a man of genuinely deep and unconditional love. I see his soul through the window of his words, and the reflections of our journey." Deborah Powell