The very first time I heard Jasen Sousa read, I knew he was something special. Something different. His energy and rhythm were those of a young rapper, and his topic that day was a woman lost, a story from the streets. Passion spilled out of every word he spoke. It was hard to take one’s eyes off of him, because his own eyes burned. I didn’t know much about Jasen, and I wondered if he was a musician or a poet. It turns out he’s a little of both.
Ten years later, Jasen has established himself as a writer, a publisher, and an advocate for people whose voices often go unheard. A Boston native who spent his childhood and teenage years being schooled, as he puts it, on the streets of Somerville, he graduated from Emerson College before completing his MFA at Pine Manor College.
Jasen has worked extensively with youth in the Boston area, with homeless individuals, and with refugees from Latin America. For the past few years he has been teaching reading, writing, and literacy to adult learners studying to acquire their high school diplomas. He currently works as an academic advisor at UMASS Boston.