While some people choose to sell incense, bootleg compact discs and imitation designer handbags on the Set, one man has opted to sell soul.
Art Wallace, also known as Wiseone, has been selling his first published collection of poetry on the Set since the fall. He said he plans to continue to use the weekly flea market as a way to enlighten the masses.
“I’ll be out there periodically,” he said. “It’s fun to interact with people there.”
The 33-year-old FAMU alumnus said the world around him and personal experiences inspired the poems found in his new book, “Politics and Love.”
“Life, history, social conditions, women, music, various personal experiences … everything really,” he said. “You never know when the next poem will be inspired.
“I wake up in the middle of the night and write,” Wallace said. “I’m infamous for writing while driving on the highway!”
Wallace said he chose the title of his book from his favorite poem of the same name.
“Once I pretty much had everything I felt would be in the book, I began to think about what I had artistically, what it meant, what it said. I thought it was interesting and would be a thought-provoking title.”
The former Navy ROTC instructor performs at local venues, including Black on Black Rhyme at Mt. Zion’s Calypso CafÃ©.
He also performs in Atlanta, Miami and his hometown, Washington, D.C. During his time in the Navy, Wallace also performed in Spain, Greece, Senegal and Brazil.
“I sing too,” Wallace said, adding that he is in the process of recording some of his works. “I’ve written many songs over the years.”
Wallace said he is doing what he loves and encourages other FAMU students to do the same.
“I hope everyone takes the time to find out what his or her purpose on this earth is,” he said. “Don’t just pursue titles, positions, and money, thinking that will fulfill you. Seek to do that which will make your life the most meaningful for you, especially while you are here in college.”
Contact Alexia Robinson at arrobinson01@Yahoo.com.