VIDEO: Performance Poet David Blair Dies

The National Slam Poetry champion was 39.

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The performance-poetry movement has suffered a major loss. Over the weekend, renowned poet, singer and songwriter David Blair was found dead in his apartment. Blair, who was born in New Jersey but lived in Detroit since the 1990s, was a prolific artist. He earned a National Poetry Slam Champion title, performed with Urban Folk Collective and yhe Boyfriends, and taught poetry and songwriting in Detroit Public Schools. Performances took him throughout the U.S., Russia, Europe and South Africa.

Blair was also a 2010 Callaloo fellow, a 2009 Seattle Haiku Slam champion and the recipient of Seattle's 2007 BENT Mentor Award for LGBT Writers. He was named best urban folk poet by Detroit's Metro Times and best folk artist by Real Detroit Weekly.

His first book of poetry, Moonwalking, about the life of Jackson, hit book shelves in April 2010. Although a cause of death has not been confirmed, Blair may have suffered heatstroke before he was found by a maid. No foul play is suspected. He was 39. 

Read more at PrideSource. Watch video of his ode to Detroit: "Detroit (While I Was Away)" above.

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