Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the few people in the world to have no job other than that of poet.

Why you should listen

From his official bio: "Eloquent, accessible, passionate and often downright hilarious, poet Taylor Mali studied drama in Oxford with members of The Royal Shakespeare Company and puts those skills of presentation to work in all his performances. He was one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.

"Mali is a vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, having himself spent nine years in the classroom teaching English, history, math and SAT test preparation. He has performed and lectured for teachers all over the world, and his New Teacher Project has a goal of creating 1,000 new teachers through 'poetry, persuasion and perseverance.'

"Mali is the author of two books of poetry, The Last Time As We Are, and What Learning Leaves, and four CDs of spoken word."

What others say

"Taylor Mali is a ranting comic showman and literary provocateur ..." — The New York Times

Taylor Mali’s TED talks