Douglas Powell/ Roscoe Burnems Poet, slam poet, spoken-word artist


Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems
Richmond, VA


Richmond, Virginia native, Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems is a poet, published author, spoken-word artist, comedian, educator, father, and husband who has dedicated his craft to entertaining and educating. In his time as an artist, he has been a two-time southern regional finalist (2009, 2014), National Poetry Slam Champion (2014), NPS Group Piece Finalist (2018), and NUPIC/Underground Slam Champion (2019). He has been a TEDx speaker, a host for RVA Booklovers Festival, and founder and member of The Writer's Den Art Collective. With Roscoe as a coach of The Writer's Den poetry slam team has been consistently ranked top 10 in the country. As a poetry slam coach, he also took the VCU poetry slam team to be ranked 3rd in the world (2018). Douglas hasn't limited his passion to competitions and workshops. He is the author of three published works: Fighting Demons, Chrysalis Under Fire, and God, Love, Death and Other Synonyms. He has also been published in over a dozen literary magazines and journals, including: Freeze Ray Magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Scene & Heard, Into Quarterly, Beltway Quarterly, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Rise Up Review.

Educational Background/Training

Douglas Powell has been a teaching artist since 2010 and has conducted workshops and worked regularly with the following schools and organizations: Virginia Randolph Education Center, James River Detention Center, Binford Middle School, Henderson Middle School, Henrico High School, Hermitage High School, Highland Springs High School, Hopewell High School, Richmond Public Library, Art 180, Community 50/50, Richmond Young Writers, Partner in the Arts, University of Richmond, and many other community organizations.


Workshops $100/hr (2 hour minimum)


As an artist Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems mainly works with teens and adults, but has lots of experience with pre-teens as well. Workshops can be tailored to fit the needs of the organization, but Roscoe specializes in using art as a way to discuss societal issues, developing difficult-to-write personal narratives, and discuss poetry as a healthy coping strategy, and therapeutic process.


Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems is available throughout the year, preferably mornings and early afternoons.

Educational Programs

  • Connecting Historical Quotes and Context to Poetry
    Building personal narratives and connections to history using quotes from historical figures. The participants will be taken through a series of writing and performance exercises along with discussions about historical figures and how history is shaping in front of them. Over time participants will be either given a famous quote or pick one of their own to begin writing their own story and how they connect to the statement.
  • Poetry Inside Out
    Using poetry as a catalyst for journaling, this program is designed to personify the emotional spectrum and give a voice to individual primary emotions. Becoming more nuanced over time, we will talk candidly about the human experience and write poems centered around identity and resilience
  • >Writing Through The Distance*
    ○ Virtual workshop and discussion series around life after the pandemic. The exercises vary and are centered to unpacking the “new normal”. Throughout the series, we investigate the vast changes during the season of COVID19 and encourage honest writing about everything from isolation to where participants are still finding joy.

* Writing Through The Distance is six, 1-hour, online sessions, scheduled weekly. Other workshops can be scheduled to suit the needs of the organization.

Additional Information