Osimiri Sprowal (he/they) is an Afro-Indigenous, Two-Spirit, QueerCrip poet, model, researcher, and Disabled/queer homeless rights activist. Their work grapples with the complex nature of identity and spirituality, and chronicles their journey to finding the divine within himself. Centering the body, Osimiri’s poetry deals with disability, trans identity, and self-transformation. They are the founder and President of deadname.arts, Philadelphia’s all trans artist collective. Osi was the 2015 Philly Youth Grand Slam Champion, and the 2018 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) Semi-Finalist, where he received the Best Love Poem Award. Osi was also a 2018 Till Arts Emerging Artist Fellow. His poetry has been featured at Bowery Poetry in New York, the Artreach Disabled Cultural Access Awards, Drop The Mic, and the book tour opening for fellow QTPOC and Disabled Poet Kay Barrett.
Most recently, Osi was a winner of the 2019 Head and Hand Shockwire Chapbook contest, and is the author of Gemini: Duality of Self, which chronicles their experiences as a genderfluid person, among other publications. Outside of poetry and research, he has been recognized locally and nationally for his activist work in the fight to end trans/queer youth homelessness. Presently he serves on the Valley Youth House Pride Task Force, a council of homeless/formerly homeless queer youth creating solutions in his home city of Philadelphia. As acknowledgement of their work locally, Osi was awarded the 2019 True Colors Innovation Fellowship, creating resources for trans/queer youth who have also suffered from homelessness nationwide.
“Osimiri is a force - they exuded a presence that kept the crowd enthralled, elated, and emotionally wrecked by the end of the night. It was memorizing, melodious, Kemetic magic. Whether it was work that delved into the intricacies of queerness, disability, or black joy, the crowd hung on every line of their work. One onlooker described it as a blessing to have witnessed their set - I wholeheartedly agree.”
-Julius Baltonado, Program Manager, Bowery Poetry