Paine The Poet was raised in Columbus, Ohio, and currently resides in Virginia. While serving an 8-year sentence within the Virginia Department of Corrections, he began to use poetry as a method of healing and connecting with others who have suffered similar trauma. His work attracted the attention of the institution and soon he was developing programs for the community. Upon his release from prison, Paine traveled the open mic circuit which would set the foundation for his career as a spoken word artist, activist, public speaker, and entertainer.
a whole new path began to open up for Paine once he was released from prison. It was through this method of coping he discovered that many others have suffered similar trauma.
Using his gift of poetry, Paine articulates distinctly emotional experiences in the criminal system through crisis intervention and youth mentoring.
He has taught various workshops and after-school programs and participated in panel discussions and fundraisers on mass incarceration, prison reform, social justice, disenfranchisement, and education. He has performed at the U.S. Capital and the 2018 NFL Honors Awards. His acting credits include the role of Jahlal Mahad in the 2021 film, American Skin. In 2021 Paine wrote the opening for the ONLY airing of TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year ceremony awarding Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Paine released his first musical project in 2022.