About

photo by Elliot Malcolm; click for more.
Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre is a poet, educator, and activist based in Minneapolis, MN. His work explores the relationships between identity, power, and resistance, and he’s performed everywhere from the United Nations, to music festivals like Eaux Claires and Soundset, to countless colleges, universities, and conferences. A two-time National Poetry Slam champion, Tran Myhre has also given a TEDx Talk, published a book (available now via Button Poetry), and can currently be heard as the co-host of “What’s Good, Man?” a podcast on healthy masculinity.

Whether writing about men’s roles in ending gender violence, challenging dominant narratives related to race and racism, or just telling stories about the different jobs he’s had, Tran Myhre strives to cultivate a deeper, more critical engagement with social justice issues, one based in both empathy and agency. An educator as well as a performing artist, Tran Myhre completed his Masters studies at the University of Minnesota with a focus on spoken word, critical pedagogy, and social justice education; in that spirit, his performances use poems as jumping-off points for authentic dialogue, critical thinking, and community-building.

Contact: elguante@gmail.com

YEARLY RECAPS:
2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

Here’s some stuff that doesn’t really fit in my “official” bio but that people might be interested in:

If people know me, they usually know me from Button Poetry or my other spoken word stuff. But I’m also an MC. I’ve released three albums with producer Big Cats, including my most recent one, War Balloons. I’ve also done side projects with artists like Claire de Lune (A Loud Heart) and Katrah-Quey (Post-Post-Race). I’m also part of the trio Sifu Hotman (alongside Dem Atlas and Rube); we made an album called Embrace the Sun that I’m still really proud of, and the single “Matches” got featured on Welcome to Night Vale, Lauren Laverne’s BBC6 show, and beyond. Find all of my music here.

I travel a lot, but I also try to stay as engaged as I can here in the Twin Cities. I work closely with TruArtSpeaks, a nonprofit cultivating “literacy, leadership, and social justice through the study and application of spoken word and Hip Hop culture.” I also work with MPD150, a local abolitionist collective striving to change the narrative around policing and public safety. I also do a lot of zine-making, workshop/residency work in high schools (through both TruArtSpeaks and COMPAS), and political writing right here on this blog. In particular, I’m interested in sharing resources with people who do education work. Most recently, I launched the #WhatsGoodMan podcast on healthy masculinity along with fellow local MC/activist Tony the Scribe. Feel free to browse this site for more.

Here's some stuff other people have written about me:

"Giving you something to think about while nodding your head to his nimble, casual flow, Guante could very well follow Atmosphere and P.O.S. in the long line of outstanding rappers to break out from the Midwest." --CMJ Artist Spotlight

"Part Cormac McCarthy, part Woody Guthrie, and part Public Enemy." --Justin Schell, TC Daily Planet

"An all-around firebrand... the tracks are political but also personal, impassioned without becoming preachy, and always original." --Josh Jackson, Paste Magazine

"Guante and Big Cats create intelligent, political hip hop that mercifully doesn't come off as preachy or self-righteous. It's sobering, demanding your attention like a car crash, yet emotional and alarmingly intimate at times."  --Michael L. Walsh, City Pages

"Earnestness can go wrong in hip hop.  On this album, it goes very right." --Sage Francis, Strange Famous Records, on Guante & Big Cats' "An Unwelcome Guest"

"Whether writing of lost causes or zombie apocalypses, Guante demonstrates impeccable artistic control; in performance, he has the audience's undivided attention." --City Pages "Best of 2009" Feature

"Simply put, he is one of the finest writers in the Twin Cities, and in underground rap writ large."
--Paul Thompson, Impression of Sound

"...Guante has a deft sense of humor and style in his arsenal, along with a battle-hewn tongue that rattles off sharply-spit rhymes and high-concept narratives... Guante's lyrics go deeper than the familiar comic-book premise into an authority-questioning meditation on violence that'd do John Romero's most allegorical moments proud." --Nate Patrin, City Pages

"...one of the best rappers in the Twin Cities today, not to mention its best spoken-word poet."
--Jon Behm, Reviler

"Guante quietly rolled into the Twin Cities' hip hop and spoken-word scenes with a hand grenade, and pulled the pin.  If you look anywhere in those scenes now, you'll see his shrapnel buried deep in every wall." --City Pages "Artists of the Year" Feature

“Since he emerged in the Twin Cities a half-decade ago, Guante has built an artistic empire of forward-thinking ideals. Assertions on gender issues, institutional racism, class warfare, identity politics, and homophobia, among other progressive causes, show up in his work paired with the haunting stomp of Big Cats bangers as the backdrop.” –Jack Spencer, City Pages

“Their new album captures Guante at his best as he delivers powerful cultural and sociopolitical theses with a blazing clarity, and it serves as excellent companion piece to P.O.S and Brother Ali's latest records.” –Andrea Swensson, The Current

PUBLICATIONS: