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"Frank Messina is one of the most widely recognized young poets living in America today." (Playboy Magazine). Author of four books of poetry including the critically acclaimed       Full Count: The Book of Mets Poetry and Disorderly Conduct, Messina's work tackles subjects relating to human nature including themes of love, struggle, war, civic responsibility and sports fanaticism. An avid baseball enthusiast, his baseball poems and musings have seeped into the realm of pop-culture, being the subject of debate and commentary on such programs as The Howard Stern Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and SNY-TV's Mets Weekly, where Messina's Mets-related verse is set to the visual backdrop of glorious (and not so glorious) moments in Mets history. As a result, sports fans around the world refer to Messina as "The Mets Poet".

Messina's poetry has been featured on the front page of the New York Times, FOX News, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The CBS Early Show, SportsNet New York, Sports Illustrated and published in several poetry journals, college textbooks and magazines around the world.

His work appears in The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Times, Ground Zero: New Yorkers Respond, the 9/11 Peace Poetry Project, Long Shot Magazine, New York Press, Oxford Magazine, Published in Heaven Poster Series, Oxalis, Footwork: The Paterson Literary Review, Frank of Paris, Newark Writer's Journal, Idiom, and Promethean Press. He has been featured on National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Network. His 9/11-related poems, including Bicycle, have gained international attention and are included in the curriculum at several educational institutions including the University of London. In August, 2013, Messina's original hand-written journal containing the original drafts of Bicycle and other 9/11-related poems, was accessioned into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's permanent collection.

Messina earned a B.A. in English from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1990 and received The Woolrich Poetry Fellowship of Columbia University in 1993 where he studied under David Ignatow and later with Alan Dugan at the Poetry Writing Workshop at Indiana University. Messina was nominated for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award in 1995. He was commissioned for Kentucky Colonel in October, 2010 by Governor Steve Beshear and Secretary of State Trey Grayson. He joins the ranks of Elvis Presley, Lyndon B. Johnson and Johnny Depp as fellow Colonels. Messina serves as Artistic Advisor to the Jack Kerouac Writers-in-Residence Project of Orlando Florida and resides in Jersey City, NJ.

 
Messina first gained notoriety as the founder of the underground band, Spoken Motion, whose signature ability to fuse bold, lyrical content with eclectic jazz and experimental rock music helped catapult the fledgling 'Spoken Word' genre of the 1990's to commercial success. The group featured percussionist Larry McDonald, Elliott Levin of Cecil Taylor's Phthongas on sax and flute, Bob Susko on guitar, Wes Jensen on drums and bassist Joe Isgro.

Frank Messina & Spoken Motion's album, Biting the Tongue, includes special guest appearances by the legendary composer David Amram, jazz violinist Billy Bang of the Sun Ra Arkestra and Scott Murawski and Mark Mercier of Max Creek. The album made the Top 20 Spoken Word Chart immediately after its July, '98 release date and remained for 16 weeks. In addition, track 1 from the album, I Want to Hear Poetry, is included on the 1998 College Radio's Best of The Indies compilation CD. The same track hit #1 on the mp3.com Spoken Word Charts in April, 1999.

He also founded the all-star "Spoke n' Roll" band, OCTOPOET, in 1999. The experimental group has featured members of the Spin Doctors, Max Creek, Sun Ra, Gil Scott-Heron Band and Spoken Motion plus Mark Egan, saxophonist Erik Lawrence and vocalists Lucy Woodward, Dawn Lorentz and Chanda Rule. Spanning his career, Messina has recorded over 200 spoken word & music compositions including works from Biting the Tongue (1998), Absorb (1999), Rage (1999), The Long Road to Nowheresville (2004) and Walking Home (2007).

                                                                                                                    Messina has performed worldwide at notable venues such as Newark Symphony Hall, Madison Square Garden, The London International Poetry and Song Festival, The Louisville Center for the Arts, Hofstra University's Spiegel Theatre, Crossing Border Festival in the Netherlands, Bowery Poetry Club, Meer Dan Woorden Festival, Lollapalooza Festival, Woodstock `94, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, The Knitting Factory, Nuyorican Poets' Cafe', Howlin' Wolf Club in New Orleans and several in-store performances at Tower Records, Barnes and Noble, and Borders Books and Music. Messina has also performed in Dublin, Ireland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin, Germany; Reykjavik, Iceland; Newcastle on Tyne, UK; Edinburgh, Scotland; Prague, Czechoslovakia among other cities.
                                                                                                                                                 Messina has shared the stage with David Amram, Reg E. Gaines, Mark Egan, Buddy Cage, Spin Doctors, Angus Calder, Billy Bang, Miguel Algarin, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Leo Kottke, Max Creek, Billy Kreutzmann, Vince Welnick and Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead), Stir Fried, Lucy Woodward, Melvin Seals, Mike Gordon (Phish), Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Allen Ginsberg, Merle Saunders, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Bernie Worrell, Gil Scott-Heron, Melvin Sparks, The Last Poets, Moe, Jeff Pevar, Hal Sirowitz, Courtney Love, Ron Whitehead, Arnie Lawrence, Erik Lawrence, Vic Juris, John S. Hall, Paul Winter, Buzzy Linhart, Sonny Sharrock, The Zen Tricksters and many others. Messina has appeared in several feature films including Blood Ties with James Caan and Billy Crudup, and has a starring role in the PBS documentary Jack Kerouac Slept Here. He has also appeared in several episodes of the HBO Series, Boardwalk Empire, produced by Martin Scorsese.

Messina is also a prolific painter, known to include shredded poems, pharmaceuticals and poppy seeds in his large, dramatic canvas works. As a burgeoning artist with an illustrious past, his paintings hang in the private collections of jazz musicians, writers, governors and fashion models around the world.

 

Frank Messina: The Official Website
e-mail: speak@spokeface.com

 
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Frank Messina is a BMI-affiliated recording artist
and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors' Equity Association and the National Writers Union.
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