Photo courtesy of Practically Professional Photography.
About the Author
Raised amid the vibrant and complicated Long Island arts scene, Steven T. Licardi (The Sven-Bo!) has expanded his stomping grounds to Manhattan, Los Angeles, and abroad. His stage presence has become widely known for its positivity, energy, and his powerful use of spoken word poetry to raise awareness of many social justice issues. He discovered visual art as a means of coping with a childhood diagnosis of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), an Autism Spectrum Disorder that entailed his emotional state maturing at a slower rate than his mental state. This meant he could not emotionally comprehend his own thoughts. Art, and consequently writing, provided him with a way to express himself emotionally - So he could better understand himself and his place in the world. This experience has imparted his work with a unique perspective that he utilizes to advocate for basic human rights. As a Licensed Social Worker, Steven has worked with many at-risk populations: Veterans, the elderly, individuals with mental illness, LGBTQ*, the homeless, individuals with developmental disabilities, inner-city youth, civil rights leaders, and others. He graduated with honors from Stony Brook University in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology & Philosophy. He returned to complete his Masters in Social Work in 2016. More than just a poet, Steven is a philosopher who tries to exemplify in every endeavor two key concepts he lives his life by: Love & Beauty. He is currently the administrator of the blog Cross My Heart And Hope To Write, which explores the absurd and often curious nature of the human condition.
Steven's work has appeared in over twenty collections and online publications, including Latexo Beat, I Want You To See This Before I Leave, Xanadu, Palabras Luminosas (Luminous Words), Perspectives: Poetry Concerning Autism and Other Disabilities (Volume II), and many more. He is a regular contributor to the website Social Justice Solutions and travels weekly to perform at universities, high schools, corporate events, and conferences across the country. In 2010, Steven won 1st Prize in a poetry competition sponsored by Suffolk County Community College, Grant Campus for his poem, "Early Girl." He was a Finalist and Semi-Finalist in the Paumanok Poetry Award in 2012, was awarded Up-and-Coming Bard in 2013 by The Bards Initiative, and was awarded 1st Prize in the Princess Ronkonkoma Productions Poetry Contest in 2014 for his poem, "If I Looked Like What I've Been Through." His professional affiliations include: Thrive NYC, The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, Festival Kerouac Vigo, Street Poets NYC, Artist Action Group, Long Island Progressive Coalition, The Muse Exchange, Jobs for Justice, and the Long Island Writer's Guild. In addition, he has garnered awards and recognition for his continued academic and community service work in the United States and abroad.
Photo courtesy of Dan Woulfin.