Wess Mongo Jolley is an expatriate American poet and poetry promoter living in Montreal. He is Founder and Executive Director of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project (http://poetrypreservation.org), and is most well known for hosting the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel podcast (http://performancepoetry.
Wess Mongo Jolley is an expatriate American poet and poetry promoter living in Montreal.
Mongo’s first excursion into the internet poetry world began in the 1995, when he created the website ginzy.com as a tribute to the great poet Allen Ginsberg. The site quickly grew to become the most respected and comprehensive source about Ginsberg on the internet. At the time of Ginsberg’s death in 1997, the site was selected by major media sources as the primary resource for information on the poet, and Mongo became key in organizing readings to celebrate Ginsberg’s life, all across the country. Ginzy.com was closed in 2001, as Google and other search engines made the clearinghouse nature of the site unnecessary.
In 2006, Mongo founded the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel, which featured the best spoken word artists in the field today. In over ten years of podcasting IndieFeed featured more than 600 poets and 1,600 episodes, with a total download count of over ten million episodes distributed. The show was consistently listed as one of the top three poetry podcasts in the iTunes music store, and the archive of the show can still be found at http://performancepoetry.
In 2010 Mongo, along with Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz and Thomas Bouliane, founded the Performance Poetry Preservation Project (P4). This partnership between the poetry slam community and the academic world has ambitions to collect, preserve, protect, and provide access to the recorded history of the poetry slam movement. Incorporated as a private non-profit in 2011, the Project is in the process of securing funding and building relationships for a roll out in 2017. The P4 website can be found at http://poetrypreservation.org, and the permanent P4 collection is now housed in the Dartmouth College Rauner Special Collections Library.
In another life, Mongo was a Certified Records Manager and an information management professional with over 35 years experience in the field. For 22 years he was the Records Manager at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he had also served as the Interim Manager of the Special Collections Library at the College. In these two roles, he indulged a keen interest and built extensive experience in both historical preservation issues, as well as information technology, data system design, and digital record keeping. Prior to his work at Dartmouth College, Mongo spent a half dozen years as a Crisis Counselor and Data Management Coordinator for the California Runaway Hotline in Sacramento, California.
Mongo’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Off The Coast, PANK, The New Verse News, Danse Macabre, The November 3rd Club, The Legendary, decomP, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, RFD, TreeHouse Arts, Warrior Poets, and in the Write Bloody Press book The Good Things About America. Audio versions of his poetry have been featured on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel, and Cloudy Day Art. He has performed his work at many open mics across the country, including The Green Mill, The Bowery Poetry Club, The LouderArts Project, and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
In between all of these things, Mongo characterizes himself as a polyamorous queer faerie pagan poet bear. After a quarter century living on 60 acres of rural Vermont, he now lives with two of his three partners, and writes full time, from his balcony overlooking rush hour traffic in Montreal– a gorgeous, dirty, gritty, artsy, ecstatic, appalling, and vibrant beast of a city, which he has come to love the way you love a good-hearted uncle with Tourette’s. He is currently working on a ghost story / love story / apocalyptic adventure novel, set in Salt Lake City. His website can be found at http://wessmongojolley.com, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.