Best Of 2011

BEST SPOKEN WORD ARTIST: Walter “Wally B” Jennings

Tampa native Jennings performs with a towering presence, dispensing turbo-charged rhymes that combine acrobatic wordplay and real-world wisdom. The 34-year-old is also an advocate for youth, helping organize the annual Heard ’Em Say Teen Poetry Slam and other community outreach events that steer at-risk children toward a brighter future. Jennings has won several awards, and a little more than a decade ago he founded one of Tampa’s largest and longest-running poetry shows, Black on Black Rhyme-Tampa, modeled after the original that started in Tallahassee in 1998. The Florida A&M grad co-presents the weekly poetry night with the likewise charismatic Malcolm “L.I.F.E.” Turner at Club Nouveau in Tampa. If you can’t get around to seeing him live, listen to Wally B on WMNF-88.5, hosting the "Poetry Is …" show 11 p.m. on Saturday nights. myspace.com/wallybsomebody, blackonblackrhyme.com.