Darryl Alladice
by Lisa A. Fraser
Sep 30, 2011 | 5112 views | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Growing up in what was dubbed, “New Jack City,” Darryl Alladice really didn’t think that there would be more for him after high school than a civil service job.

He was wrong. Instead, he became a performance poet and writer.

“Surprisingly, I got through it,” said the father of one. “I was terrified of the darkness of the streets that I saw.”

Born in Harlem but now residing in Brooklyn, Alladice attended The City College of New York and it was there, due to passion and mentorship, that he caught the writing bug.

Alladice performs in bars, cafes and clubs around the city. He touches all the popular topics: humor, love, sex – but there is one other topic he touches that really hits home with him – sickle cell anemia.

Alladice was diagnosed with the blood disease at the age of three. Doctors told him he wouldn’t live past the age of 33, but he surprised them.

For a while, he never wrote about the disease, but soon he hit a wall and realized he had to come out of the closet and face the disease with his words.

“I was talking about everything but that,” he said. “But once you start writing, you start writing the truth.”

And the truth came pouring out. A year and a half ago, Alladice published a collection of poems entitled, “Jaundice.” In it, he talks candidly in prose and rhyme about his experience with the disease. Using humor, often directed at himself, he aims to make people aware of the disease through his poems.

“Sickle cell is part of my work, but not all of my work,” he said. Although true, Alladice dedicates time to raising awareness about the disease by attending events such as the annual Sickle Cell Anemia Walk-a-thon at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens.

He also reads poems in hospitals – not to those who suffer, but to doctors and medical professionals because often times, “they need to see what it’s like for someone suffering from the disease.”

“There is a misunderstanding in the medical community about this,” he said. “They tend to see it from their lens only, but it should be a partnership.”

He also advocates on behalf of men who are often afraid to share their health experiences with other men, and is now working on a second collection of poems dealing with the loss of his mother two years ago. “I call them release poems,” he said. “It’s a continuum, it’s one big story.”

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