Keith Van Washington, better known by his stage name Versatyle, is an American poet. In 2003 Washington wrote and performed an orginal piece for Ebony Magazine's Launch Party held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York City. He was later referred to in the July 2003 issue of Jet (magazine) and the August 2003 issue of Ebony (magazine) as “spoken word star Versatyle”. Washington is the author of "Through His Eyes", published in 2005, a book of poetry addressing the young male perspective. In 2006 he was nominated Poetic Ambassador of the year by Prysmatic Dreams and the New Word Order both of which have international spheres of influence. Also that year he was a finalist in the McDonald’s Gospelfest in New York City.
Washington was the first artist featured on the Emancipation album, released in 2006 by the DJ Constortium Label. Emancipation, produced by international soul music DJ Come of Age, featured "Industry Critique" a piece written and performed by Washington. The poem "Industry Critique" was also featured on the album "What Happened to Hip Hop", part of the Whispered Words mixtape series by Prysmatic Dreams, where Washington was featured between Gill Scott-Heron and KRS-One. Washington was also featured on The 380 Soundtrack released in 2007. Produced by MTV affiliate James Robert Productions, The 380 Soundtrack, which also featured the likes of Journalist (rapper) and Reef the Lost Cauze, is a collection of 18 Philadelphia-based artists presenting their perspectives on the Violence in Philadelphia. Washington collaborated with Canada Hip Hop artist aka Subliminal for the track "The Shots Rang Out", which was the 13th feature on The 380 Soundtrack.
Washington, who is of African American and Puerto Rican descent, was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa where he attended Central High School graduating in 1997. During his adolescent years he was most noted for his sketching ability and received a citation from the city of Philadelphia for one his sketches which was displayed in the Philadelphia Art Museum in 1997.
Washington later graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvannia with a degree in Kinesiology. While in college he began writing poetry, which Washington called, "venthilation from life's situations." In 2001 he performed one his original pieces at the Frederick Douglas Society's 8th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest for which he won a book scholarship. From there Washington was repeatedly called upon to perform at West Chester University events. Word of his performances traveled and Washington began reciting his poetry at various venues in the Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. areas.