Jason Vasser lives and writes in Saint Louis Missouri, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL). His poetry has appeared in Blast Furnace, The Sphinx magazine, Prairie Gold: An anthology of America’s Heartland, among others and was recently featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in an article written by Jane Henderson titled “Poetry can be an early form of artistic response to trauma”, in response to issues in Ferguson, Missouri.
Jason believes that building relationships sustains community. Over the past few of years, he has worked with the St. Louis Poetry Center (SLPC) as coordinator for the Poetry on the Plaza reading series and as Assistant Curator of Poetry at the Point, and endeavors to continue working to bring the literary community together through programming and collaboration.
Now a board member at the St. Louis Poetry Center, Jason served as curator for the SLPC’s benefit gala honoring Dr. Maya Angelou. This event featured local literary legends, musicians, modern dancers, and an up and coming visual artist. While often working behind the scenes, Jason also reads his poetry at local events, large and small, to share in the recitation of poetry with his elders, contemporaries, and for the literary enthusiast. His work lives on and off the page as he performs spoken word poetry at some events, while also reading at others; Jason is a performance poet, activist for racial equality, and educator.
With a degree in cultural anthropology and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, Jason weaves art and science to bring to life the patterns in life that unite humanity, while also speaking to his experience as a minority. Tracing his ancestral homeland to the Bamileke people of Cameroon, in Central Africa, Jason currently uses his poetry as a bridge to connect the past, present and future.
Currently, Jason teaches English at Harris – Stowe State University. While a member of various professional anthropological and literary organizations, he finds time to also volunteer with local chapters of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
“Regardless of your cultural background, poetry is a bridge we can use to communicate”
Jason N. Vasser-Elong
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