Poet Damont Combs first came to Rhode Island to study computer technology at Johnson & Wales, but he stayed because of art. While Combs dabbled in poetry in high school, it wasn’t until he moved here that he developed his talent. “I didn’t know anything, so I had to learn,” he says. “I went to some poetry nights at Café S.O.U.L., and that’s where I honed my skills.”
Shortly after that, he compiled his first book – My Poem... My Riddle – and shopped it to local bookstores, managing, despite several rejections, to find homes for it. His second book, A Touch of Orange, displays what he learned from eight years of performing in Providence. More complex than his earlier poetry, A Touch of Orange explores topics meant to inspire and elevate the mind.
In addition to writing poetry, songs, and plays, Combs’ art and passion for social issues have also led him to partnerships with non-profit organizations, including the Naked Campaign Foundation and Blue Rose. “I definitely support local organizations that support local people,” he says.
Combs’ ultimate goal is to do his art full-time, a feat that often feels unlikely and difficult. After seeing other Providence artists accomplish this goal, however, Combs believes he can do the same. “My community is constantly inspiring me to do better,” he says. “I know that if I stay committed and continue in this path, I will eventually reach where I want to be in life.”