I M E

"IN MY SOCIETY THERE'S CHOICES OF DESTRUCTION IN VARIETY, I ALWAYS FELT LIKE THE RULES NEVER APPLIED TO ME." - JUELZ

See a 6’2” approximately 200lb black male running south on Vernon Street in Harrisburg’s south Allison Hill area overlooking the Pennsylvania State Capitol? Well, Vernon Street is the street where I wrote my book, In My Eyes -- and it’s the same street where I grew up as a child.

Hello, my name is Julian Davenport. Good friends call me “Juelz”. Sometimes I wear a hoodie. Sometimes my pants sag. I prefer my music loud, profane, and with lots of bass. I have a certified skill at rolling medically-approved homemade “cigarettes” in 60 seconds or less, but ironically no higher education degree.

Gifted with a natural love of writing, I was never a great student. You might say I would easily fit the statistically archetypical by-product of a struggling single Mom and a disengaged, frequently incarcerated father. An at-risk kid, yes -- but a reluctant caricature, largely left by institutions and circumstances to be raised more by the loveless code of the street than tony choice schools, with no privileged nepotistic opportunities or appropriately refined etiquette to grease the way.

Convinced by veteran street mentors, a self-maximizing choice against poverty and squalor made the allure of fast cash irresistible. Unfortunately, those activities were not appreciated by The State. My successful entrepreneurial career as an independent South American chemical distributor for needy self-medicators was abruptly cut short and exchanged for frugal free room and board at a secure, gated community of like minds.

Prison is a bad, bad place. The Pen can, however, provide useful time for seriously deep reflection. On one humid hot summer night, long after my release, I leaned back shirtless on the cool porch steps at home to consider the wild but not uncommon confluence of contributors that led to my revolving door of crime and punishment, prosperity and despair. While watching winged moths do their dizzying death dance in urine-colored sodium vapor glare, it occured to me that others might benefit from my life’s laborious lessons learned. I decided to compile both past poetry and write fresh works about living in the trap as a cathartic attempt to heal my emotional wounds. “In My Eyes” born on the cold concrete steps of Vernon street -- a proud Pennsylvania original.


Milton Hershey "MLK" DREAM POEM

  •   1/17/2021 09:42 AM
3 Comments
Patriot News front page article

Patriot News front page article

6/12/2011

Juelz front page article with Patriot Newspaper

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Milton Hershey School "MY SOCIETY" workshops

Milton Hershey School "MY SOCIETY" workshops

10/6/2021

Juelz visit at the Milton Hershey School

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The Poetry Market E-zine

The Poetry Market E-zine

2/28/2021

This is a review of my 1st collection of poetry titled "In My Eyes" by the Poetry E-zine

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Black Excellence in Central Pa: Local poet uses past experiences as way to better the youth

Black Excellence in Central Pa: Local poet uses past experiences as way to better the youth

2/28/2021

During Black History month, PennLive is paying tribute to the people who are helping shape what will someday be the history of the Black community in Central Pennsylvania.

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The Burg Magazine feature

The Burg Magazine feature

1/31/2018

This was one of Juelz features in The Burg Magazine Harrisburg PA

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The Burg Magazine feature for 05/22

The Burg Magazine feature for 05/22

5/2/2022

This feature outlines my work with the community and school system

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Mairin Egge:Artist/Project Coordinator

I invited Juelz Davenport to visit one of my programming sites as a guest artist for a day. The purpose of the visit was to expose the students to an artist in their community and to gain appreciation for expression through writing. It was evident that Juelz was comfortable speaking in front of a group, sharing his story and connecting with the students. Making an influence, Juelz was generous enough to give each student a copy of his book to take home and many of the students expressed they felt encouraged to start their own expressive writing.

Mairin Egge
     

Abigail Eggert:Hershey Middle School Teacher

In addition to being a talented poet, one of Juelz's greatest strengths lies in his interactions with young people. He has an intuition that allows him to identify which students need his attention the most, and the transformation seen in some of these students has truly been amazing.

Abigail Eggert
     

Patty Kim:Pennsylvania State Representative

Julian is a remarkably talented man who puts his raw emotions and painful experiences on paper, leaving his readers charged up and inspired by his poetic tales of the urban experience. I hope his gifts will encourage others to learn, leave their old ways behind and push forward to a better life.

Patty Kim
     

Jennifer Hendry:Library Media Specialist for 31 years

I am writing to recommend Juelz Davenport as a poet and presenter for teen programs. Juelz poetry speaks to students and his presentation style is professional, yet student friendly. He has experience working with public and private schools and has developed writing workshops to complement poetry events. Juelz can inspire writers because he speaks about his life experience and how it has inspired him to write poetry. His friendly, energetic and real approach keeps a captive audience. Juelz writes poetry for all ages, as he has done readings for preschool and elementary students all the way up to high school. I highly recommend Juelz for any poetry events or workshops you might be planning. Sincerely, Jennifer Hendry Library Media Specialist

Jennifer Hendry
     

SANDY BOWEN:Cumberland County Children And Youth Services

I wanted to take a moment to send you a very sincere and heartfelt thank you for taking the time to talk with our youth at the Annual Independent Living Symposium on June 21, 2013. I was amazed at how you captivated the attention of the teens (and adults too). I have never seen them so attentive to a speaker as they were with you. I appreciate your willingness to talk with our youth about the struggles in your own life and how you overcame the roadblocks and adversities to become a success. I received a ton of positive comments regarding your presentation. Just a few of the comments were: Juelz message was one of hope and encouragement Juelz showed me that anyone can rise above their past No matter how far into a bad situation you are, you can get our of it. Can Juelz come back again and talk? You certainly do have a way with reaching out and touching other people's lives. I wish you continued success in your endeavors to help facilitate positive change in the lives of young people. Again, a huge thank you for a very well presented program. I look forward to working with you again.

SANDY BOWEN
     

Nathaniel Gadsden:Writers Workshop

I am writing this letter of reference for Poet, Julian Davenport, a young man that I have great respect for. Julian has worked with me in the After-School Explorer Program of the Harrisburg School District, and the Reader Are Leaders program of the Camp Curtin YMCA. In addition to these two on-going projects, Julian has also presented to the Dauphin County Human Services, Children and Youth Division. He was very well received by the young people in these programs. He has a way of "keeping it real" without being "Ghetto" as some are prone to do when addressing today's youth. Julian is perfect example of a young man that "gets it." He has made his share of mistakes and has payed dearly for it. He is also someone who has taken his mistakes and lifted himself up, by taking full responsiblity for his life. He has written his first book of poetry, and is working on a CD, that speaks to the struggles of our youth today. What I like about his work is that he tells if from his perspective, but is mindful that what he says has power. I had the pleasure of taking Julian and another poet to the 2011 Celebration of Black Writing in Philadelphia, PA, and the 2011 Harlem book fair, in Harlem, New York. I could clearly see that he was excited about the opportunity to display his craft, and grow through experience. I look forward to a long relationship with this fine young talent, who has a bright future helping develop the minds of our youth.

Nathaniel Gadsden
     

PA STEAM ACADEMY:

The Pennsylvania Steam Academy welcomed Juelz Davenport to our building on December 16, 2021. My rationale for inviting Juelz was to help our students grow to love reading, writing and poetry. Students deserve to understand the creative process, and find success in creating something built from their own life stories. Students were fascinated to learn about Mr. Davenports personal triumphs and challenges through the words he expressed on paper. His authentic nature and obvious love for children created some lively discussions and work within the classrooms. Juelz has this unique way of connecting everyone in the room, and making them a part of the bigger picture. Perhaps what I find most enjoyable about listening and watching him work with our students is his ability to really listen. The wisdom in children is often lost on busy adults in the hustle of life. Juelz prioritizes their thoughts, ideas and perspectives...and because of this....has them deeply connected to learning and creating because they are finally being heard. Students work cooperatively in groups under his direction, and he makes every opportunity to lift up and empower each student while also finding time to share jokes and evoke laughter. In less than 2 hours I was able to experience a typically withdrawn student stand on a chair and recite the most compelling poem about macaroni and cheese! I love that Juelz is unapologetically human. His real struggles on the streets of Harrisburg, resonate with my students. His mistakes are now his fuel that keeps him growing and giving back to those with similar stories. He is a role model for all, but especially for African American males who now see Poetry and the Arts as not only enjoyment but a potential career path! I could never say enough good things about Juelz Davenport. Don’t miss an opportunity to give your students the experience of his time and talents. The learning culture of your building will improve and the energy and enthusiasm towards writing and creating will increase tremendously. I’m so thankful he was able to gift my students a love for poetry and you will not be disappointed. Jennifer Morrison CEO/Principal – Pennsylvania Steam Academy

PA STEAM ACADEMY
     

Ms. Ashley Allen:Ben Franklin Elementary

May 2022 To Whom It May Concern: I am writing this reference at the request of Juelz Davenport. I have known Juelz for more than a decade. We briefly went to school together back in the early 2000s. Juelz spent most of his childhood going to school in the Harrisburg Area School District, where I happen to currently be employed as a third grade teacher at Ben Franklin Elementary. Our third grade students had the pleasure of an inspirational visit from Juelz on April 13, 2022. Juelz came into each of our five third grade classrooms and read several poems from his poetry book for children titled “In My Little Eyes.” Juelz did not just come in to my classroom, sit down, and read. He first made meaningful connections with my students by asking questions about themselves and making them laugh. He really did an amazing job capturing their attention, which is something that can be somewhat difficult to do! Harrisburg Area School District is an urban district, and most students are growing up in an urban culture, so seeing Juelz relate to them made them light up with enthusiasm. They could not get enough of his poems! Juelz read each poem with animation and articulation. He would briefly talk about each poem before he read it to keep the students engaged. When he was finished reading, he spent time listening to comments and patiently answering any questions the students had for him. (They had A LOT to say!) He also gave out autographs to students, and cool pencils that he provided himself. He took the time to do this for all five classrooms. I have been teaching with the Harrisburg Area School District for six years and I can honestly say that I have not had a visitor that has seemed to inspire my students as much as Juelz did. Any school would be lucky to have a visit from Juelz. In conclusion, I would highly recommend Juelz Davenport. If his performance in my class is any indication of how he would perform in any given available position, Juelz will be an extremely positive addition. If you need any additional information, feel free to contact me by telephone or email at aallen@hbgsd.k12.pa.us anytime. Sincerely, Ashley Allen

     

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  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States