Lemon Andersen

Lemon Andersen
Lemon Andersen
  • Born: April 21, 1975
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Actor

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Lemon Andersen is an American poet, spoken word artist and actor. He is sometimes credited as Lemon. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he still resides there. He is the son of Milagros "Mili" Quiñones, from Puerto Rico, and Peter Andersen, a Norwegian-American from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Growing up in poverty, as a teenager Lemon experienced the successive deaths of his stepfather, father, and mother from complications of heroin abuse and AIDS, leaving him and his older brother orphaned and forced to fend for themselves. Lemon became involved in serious crime, but his growing compassion first for hip hop and then acting, and a succession of gifted mentors who recognized and nurtured his theatrical talent, resulted in his development into the powerful artist portrayed in County of Kings and Lemon. Today a much-lauded "wordsmith who thinks deeply about the sounds of syllables", Lemon Andersen's writing and live performances have received widespread popular and critical acclaim. In his November 2011 TEDYouth talk Please don't take my Air Jordans, Lemon's performance of the title poem by Reg E. Gaines is followed by his own spoken-word riff on the influence of Gaines, Etheridge Knight, and other poets on his creative growth as a poet and spoken word artist.

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For the last 15 years that I have been performing, all I ever wanted to do was transcend poetry to the world. See, it wasn't enough for me to write a book. It wasn't enough for me to join a slam competition, and while those things hold weight, it wasn't the driving force that pushes the pen to the pad. Literature, Writers & Writing
I don't know, I think that if I had any regrets, that would cancel out the great people that I have in my life. All the tough stuff that I've gone through that I don't wish on no one else has brought a beautiful community to me. Life
I live by the code 'Kill them with kindness, blood everywhere;' for me, it's always about being the nicest kind of guy.
I talk to my kids about my mother's energy and how she would have loved them. I talk about how kind and polite my father was. So that they have some kind of remembrance that even though my parents died from their addictions and so that they know they were genuine in how they were.
I was in juvenile detention center, and I was in Rikers Island. And there was an anthology written by the inmates called 'The Pen,' and I - you know, I had a crush on a girl, and she left me when I was incarcerated. And I found this poem in this anthology that talked about having your heart broken and being incarcerated.
I'm a half-breed. You know, I'm Puerto Rican and Norwegian from descent, and I grew up, born and raised in New York City, and I stood out amongst my friends in my community. I was very blond-haired, white, and 'Lemonhead' was the name that they gave me.
I'm a suspicious mulatto, which means I'm too black to be white and too white to be doing it right.
It's all about the mood I'm in and the scene I'm writing. 'Cause work controls my life, writing controls my life, performing controls my life. So I don't listen to any music that's not an influence on what I'm working on that day. Music is a big influence in my work and sometimes drives the energy of where I want to go. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Music is a big influence in my work and sometimes drives the energy of where I want to go. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
No one touches me when I write my story, unless I hire you to or I allow you to.
Work controls my life, writing controls my life, performing controls my life. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force