Nate Mask and Ryan J | Episode 19

Things get out of hand very quickly on this episode, but that can be expected when the conversation begins on personal plans when an apocalypse arrives and alternate endings to the sitcom Home Improvement.

Nate Mask and Ryan J have been setting fires and making waves in Atlanta’s spoken word and slam poetry community for some time now. While they are currently out on the West Coast and Canada on the final wing of their “Nobody Likes Us But We’re Here Anyway” Tour we caught up with the both of them before they left.



The consideration of an audience plays a heavy role in the live craft of slam poetry. When we asked Nate Mask about that he said, "Poetry sometimes can get real heavy and serious. So if everyone is being serious I’m defiantly doing a funny poem because this shit is overwhelming.”

There’s power in the words.

We also talked with Ryan J about the viral video of Adan Bean and his reciting of "Mumble Rap or Brain Dead Music”. This, of course, led to John being introduced to mumble rap.



Ryan J. , a spoken word artist based in Atlanta and self-proclaimed lover of all things Spider-Man and time travel related, brings a fresh perspective to slam poetry. As 2015 CUPSI semi-finalist, 2017 Java Monkey Slam Team Representative, and the founder of HomeGrown Poetry, Ryan focuses on social issues and narratives that often exist in the blind spots of marginalized communities in his work. 

In 2016, Ryan published his first chapbook of poetry, "Go Home Ryan," and is currently working on his second, "In Spite of Years of Silence.”

Nate Mask is a spoken word artist who spends his days playing basketball and trying not to swear in front of children or take himself too seriously. He has been a member of the Java Monkey and Art Amok Slam Teams in Atlanta and has competed and performed on National and Local Stages, such as the National Poetry Slam, Southern Fried Poetry Festival, Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta Show, Write Club Atlanta, and the Decatur Book Festival. 

Nate has self-published two chapbooks: "Well, This is Awkward…" and "Love is For Suckers.”

If you'd like to check out more of Nate Mask and Ryan J's poetry -- as well as other great ATL spoken word artists -- make sure to check out Homegrown Poetry

We hope you enjoy the episode.