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Breakthrough Jew - Denice Frohman

Frohman become an Internet sensational when her poem "Dear Straight People" went viral after winning Women of the World Poetry Slam

By: Sarah Bauder
Published: September 5th, 2013 in Culture » Society » News
Denice Frohman

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Denice Frohman

Age: 27

Hometown: New York City

Breakthrough Cred: Became the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion with her piece, “Dear Straight People”.

2013 has been a busy for poet and spoken-word performer, Denice Frohman. Earlier in the year, she won Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS) in Minneapolis, and caused an Internet stir when her winning poem, “Dear Straight People”, went viral. In its fifth year, WOWPS pits the best female slam poets on the planet against one another.

“It’s difficult. It requires a lot of focus. You’ve got to bring all of yourself to every performance because it could be your last,”
 Frohman said of the competition to Philadelphia Weekly.

Born and raised in New York City, Frohman currently resides in the “City of Brotherly Love”, Philadelphia.

“My high-school basketball coach is now a principal at a school here. His wife works at the Franklin Institute and, three years ago, I got a call from them telling me about a position at the museum. Ten days later I moved here. I didn’t even think about it: I just packed my bags and left. The first year in Philly, I spent a lot of time just trying to figure out my place in this town. I really liked the city but didn’t know where I fit in. In my second year here, I really began to get involved with the music and art scene,” she told Philadelphia Gay News in 2010.


“As a young artist and a young professional, I find this a very accessible city. The arts and culture are important here, to everyone from the people governing to ordinary folks. If you have an idea, you can find people and make it happen,”
Frohman explained to Philadelphia Weekly.

In fact, Frohman has become actively involved with her adopted city. She has appeared in the Philadelphia Streets Department’s “Unlitter Us” campaign, championing a litter-free city. Likewise, Frohman currently works as a program director for The Philly Youth Poetry Movement, a nonprofit that “provides a safe space for Philadelphia teens to discover the power of their voices through spoken word and literary expression.”

Related articles: Breakthrough Jew, Denice Frohman, Dear Straight People, Poetry, Women of the World Poetry Slam, Spoken Word, Rapping, Jewish, Philly, Philadelphia, Basketball, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT
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