The Asia Project moves University crowd through poetry

Asia Samson is an award-winning poet and an aspiring ninja who tours the country performing his spoken word with his brother-in-law Jollan Aurelil who plays guitar in accompaniment to the poetry.

The Asia Project has performed on HBO’s “Def Poetry,” BET’s “Lyric Café,” BFC’s “Spoken” and has performed at more than 400 college shows, including three shows at the University. He has also won multiple awards for his work over the years.

Tuesday night, Samson performed some of his poems in the Multipurpose Room in the Union with senior Darius Byrd opening the show with two of his own pieces in an event put on by the University Activities Organization.

His poems ranged from humorous love poems about the 1990s to moving poems about his family and God. One of the most emotional and difficult poems he ever had to write was a poem written in memory of his sister who passed away.

“That poem is not about death, it is about life,” he said. “Life is a coma we can choose to wake up from.”

Samson began touring seriously after he was diagnosed with cancer. He vowed that he would spend his life doing what he wanted to do.

He wrote a poem the day before his surgery, which he performed during the show.

“Sometimes you have to lose a part of yourself to find your whole self,” he said.

Samson has now been cancer free for eight years.

Graduate student Landyn Jordan organized The Asia Project’s appearance at the University of Toledo a few weeks ago and came to see the performance again.

“He’s a great artist and I really enjoy his work,” Jordan said.

Monika Culp also attended the event after seeing Samson’s performance at UT.

“I have seen him before and really enjoyed it,” she said. “He has vigor and is vibrant; you can see his life through his words.”

Samson has been writing poetry for as long as he can remember and uses everything he sees and experiences in his life as inspiration for his work.

“I pay attention to everything,” he said. “I find inspiration from everything and use my poems as a way to vent my frustrations and pain.”

Samson draws inspiration from everything around him, including his family and his faith.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason … and I hope that when you leave you think to yourself ‘I really needed to hear those words today,’” he said.