In Memoriam: Omoizele Okoawo

Photo of Oz from the 2014 Boston Poetry Slam team selection semi-finals. February 19, 2014. © Marshall Goff. All Rights Reserved

The Boston Poetry Slam community was extremely saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Omoizele Okoawo (“Oz”) this week. An invaluable member of the poetry community since 1999, Oz’s writing and performance helped shaped the sound of our venue, and then pushed at those boundaries. He inspired generations of poets who either came to our Wednesday open mics, or saw him perform at the National Poetry Slam, where he was a member of (at least) 12 different teams. He was also a generous friend to so many of us.

If you would like to contribute to help out his family, a Gofundme has been created at

If you would like to watch some performances of Oz, there are at least four currently up on YouTube here: