Nigel Poor lives and works in the Bay Area. Her work has been shown at many institutions including the San Jose Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose, Friends of Photography, SF Camerawork, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in San Diego, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Haines Gallery in San Francisco. Her work can be found in many collections including SFMOMA, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the MCA San Diego, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She received her BA from Bennington College and her MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. Poor is a professor of photography at California State University, Sacramento.
Poor is the co-founder of Ear Hustle. Launched in 2017, it was the first podcast created and produced in prison, featuring stories of daily life inside California’s San Quentin State Prison told by those living it. She developed the podcast alongside Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams — who were both incarcerated at the time. The podcast now tells stories from both inside prison and from the outside, post-incarceration. In 2019, Rahsaan “New York” Thomas joined Ear Hustle as a co-host inside San Quentin.
In 2020, Ear Hustle was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting, the first time the category was recognized, for bringing audiences “a consistently surprising and beautifully crafted series on life behind bars.” Ear Hustle was named a Peabody Award nominee in 2017 and in 2018.Woods and Poor have spoken about their work on Ear Hustle at a number of venues, including commencement speeches for the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Bennington College, a keynote address at Podcast Movement, as well as other events, such as the City Arts & Lectures series in San Francisco, the National Geographic Storytellers Summit, an Essence Magazine digital event and the Internazionale a Ferrara journalism festival in Italy. In addition, Ear Hustle has inspired a variety of creative endeavors, including “Songs from the Spirit” dance performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York featuring music from the podcast.
All images courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery.