photo by Jeremy Hogan
"Frank Messina is one of the most widely recognized young poets living in America today." (Playboy Magazine). He's also a prolific painter and film actor.
Author of the critically acclaimed Full Count: The Book of Mets Poetry and Disorderly Conduct, Messina's work tackles subjects relating to
human nature including themes of love, struggle, war, civic responsibility and sports
fanaticism. An avid baseball enthusiast, his baseball poems and musings have seeped into
the realm of pop-culture, being the subject of debate and commentary on The Howard Stern
Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and SNY-TV's Mets Weekly, where Messina's Mets-related
verse is set to the visual backdrop of glorious (and not so glorious) moments in Mets
history. As a result, sports fans around the world refer to Messina as "The Mets Poet".
He has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Network. His 9/11-related poems, including Bicycle, have gained international attention and are included in the curriculum at several educational institutions including the University of London. In August, 2013, Messina's original hand-written journal containing the original drafts of Bicycle and other 9/11-related poems was accessioned into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's permanent collection.
Messina earned a BA in English from St. Thomas Aquinas College and a Woolrich Poetry Fellowship to Columbia University where he studied under David Ignatow and later with Alan Dugan at the Poetry Writing Workshop at Indiana University.
Frank Messina & Spoken Motion's album, Biting the Tongue, includes special guest appearances by the legendary composer David Amram, jazz violinist Billy Bang of the Sun Ra Arkestra and Scott Murawski and Mark Mercier of Max Creek. The album made the Top 20 Spoken Word Chart immediately after its July, '98 release date and remained for 16 weeks. In addition, track 1 from the album, I Want to Hear Poetry, is included on the 1998 College Radio's Best of The Indies compilation CD. The same track hit #1 on the mp3.com Spoken Word Charts in April, 1999.
He also founded the all-star "Spoke n' Roll" band, OCTOPOET, in 1999. The experimental group has featured members of the Spin Doctors, Max Creek, Sun Ra, Gil Scott-Heron Band and Spoken Motion plus Mark Egan, saxophonist Erik Lawrence and vocalists Lucy Woodward, Dawn Lorentz and Chanda Rule. Spanning his career, Messina has recorded over 200 spoken word & music compositions including works from Biting the Tongue (1998), Absorb (1999), Rage (1999), The Long Road to Nowheresville (2004) and Walking Home (2007).
Messina has performed worldwide at notable venues such as Newark Symphony Hall, Madison Square Garden, The London International Poetry and Song Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, The Kentucky Center for the Arts, Hofstra University's Spiegel Theatre, Crossing Border Festival in the Netherlands, Bowery Poetry Club, Meer Dan Woorden Festival, Lollapalooza Festival, Woodstock `94, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, The Knitting Factory, Nuyorican Poets' Cafe', Howlin' Wolf Club in New Orleans and several in-store performances at Tower Records, Barnes and Noble, and Borders Books and Music. Messina has also performed in Dublin, Ireland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin, Germany; Reykjavik, Iceland; Newcastle on Tyne, UK; Edinburgh, Scotland; Prague, Czechoslovakia among other cities. In 2015, Messina performed for the troops at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
Messina has shared the stage with musicians David Amram,
Tyrone Cotton, Mark Egan, Buddy Cage, Billy Bang, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Leo Kottke, Max
Creek, Billy Kreutzmann, Vince Welnick and Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead), Stir Fried,
Lucy Woodward, Melvin Seals, Mike Gordon (Phish), God Street Wine, Leo Nocentelli (The
Meters), Merle Saunders, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Bernie Worrell, Melvin Sparks, Jeff
Pevar, Courtney Love, Arnie Lawrence, Erik Lawrence, Vic Juris, Paul Winter, Buzzy
Linhart, Sonny Sharrock, and many others. He's toured or performed with many poets
including Ron Whitehead, Reg E. Gaines, John S. Hall, Allen Ginsberg, Hal Sirowitz and Gil
As an actor, Messina appears in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman (2019), HBO's Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014), in a starring role in Rowan Cinema's Lawn of the Year and in a co-starring role as "Ginger Lafferty" in Troma Films' Toxic Tutu (2017).
Messina is a prolific painter, known to include shredded poems, pharmaceuticals and poppy seeds in his large, dramatic canvas works. As a burgeoning artist with an illustrious past, his paintings hang in the private collections of rock stars, jazz musicians, writers, governors and fashion models around the world.
In 2010, Messina was commissioned as an honorary Kentucky Colonel by Governor Steve Beshear and Secretary of State Trey Grayson. As an honorary colonel, Frank joins the ranks of Elvis Presley, Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp, Muhammad Ali and Lyndon B. Johnson. Messina serves as Creative Advisor to the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence Project of Orlando Florida and resides in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Frank Messina: The Official Website
Frank Messina is a BMI-affiliated recording
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