Frank Messina is one of the most widely recognized poets living in America today. He first gained notoriety in the 1990’s as the founder of the underground band, Spoken Motion, whose method of fusing poetry with eclectic jazz and experimental rock music helped catapult the ‘Spoken Word’ genre to international recognition. He’s penned four books of poetry including the critically acclaimed Disorderly Conduct, and the best-selling book, Full Count: The Book of Mets Poetry. In 2008, he founded Frank Messina & Friends, an all-star line-up of rotating musicians and guests that have included David Amram, Mark Egan, Mike Gordon, Brian Jackson, Victor Jones, Scott Murawski, Erik Lawrence, Larry McDonald, Lucy Woodward, among many others. He has appeared on stage as a special guest with Max Creek, Billy Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead, John Popper, Warren Haynes, God Street Wine, Stir Fried, and New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Frank’s poetry appears in The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Times, Playboy Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Baseball Digest, Ground Zero: New Yorkers Respond, the 9/11 Peace Poetry Project, Oxford Magazine, Published in Heaven Poster Series, LEO Magazine, The Paterson Literary Review, and Newark Writers Journal and has been featured on NPR and the BBC. 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 2013, his 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.
Frank has performed all across the US and Europe including at Newark Symphony Hall, Madison Square Garden, Shea Stadium, The London International Poetry and Song Festival, The Louisville Center for the Arts, Hofstra University, 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 many in-store performances at Tower Records, Barnes and Noble, and Borders Books and Music.
As an actor, Messina appears in several films and television programs including HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and as the fierce but lovable “Ginger Lafferty” in the Toxic Avenger offshoot film, Toxic Tutu. He recently landed a principal role in Martin Scorsese’s feature film, The Irishman.
Messina is also 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 jazz musicians, writers, governors and fashion models around the world.