Keith M. Kelley is a poet, musician, youth development practitioner, and cultural worker. He has been performing professionally both nationally and internationally since 1991 and is founder of the spoken word band The Funky Wordsmyths. Keith has performed his socially charged poetry with his trademark intensity individually as well as with various musical genres and artists. Kelley’s poetic sense of humor has earned him the reputation of being one “funny man” who tells great stories and always seems to find the metaphor in the current issues, trends and attitudes of the day.
Currently Keith M. Kelley is the Executive Director of the Spoken Word Academy of Chicago. In that role he has advocated for arts, culture, educational reform, community-building, and youth development. Kelley continues to develop and inspire the next generation of artists as the instructor for After School Matters Spoken Word Academy @ Kelly Hall YMCA apprenticeship in Chicago's West Humboldt Park community.