I may be a bit biased, but I think I’m in love with Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, the two unrelated self-professed plutonic soul mates who just so happen to be absolutely amazing poets.
In 2004, Sarah and Phil founded Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression), a movement that celebrates and inspires youth self-expression through spoken word poetry. On Saturday night they stepped under some very bright spotlights and bared their souls, performing some of their more famous poems – such as “B,” which Sarah recited to a standing ovation during her TED Talk – and trying out new brand new, never-performed works on the Colby audience. Each spoke solo pieces from memory with a range of emotions and actions, there were a few interspersed duets, and an interactive question-and-answer session that closed the night. Every word they uttered was real and honest; they challenged mainstream thought, questioned their own psyches, and joked about the both trivial and serious events.
It didn’t end there. I was one of the lucky few to get a spot in their (early) Sunday morning workshop. This piece of the weekend was, for me, the most influential. The workshop was informal and unintimidating: a free space for creativity, education, and growth. We were challenged to write “things we know to be true,” and as we wrote, each person proved to himself or herself that we, too, could be poets. Sarah pushed us to use concrete details; spoken word poetry need not include flowery images and grandiose statements, but real, day-to-day events and stories.
After the writing exercises, Sarah and Phil got to talking about the strength of spoken word. In their workshops across the country, Phil teaches the students, “Find the things that let you say your honest story as best as possible.” Spoken word is not about form and perfection, but rather about the truth in the self and about finding one’s own voice. I left with a sense of relief, feeling that I had been gently welcomed into a beautiful world of self-reflection and joy.
I cannot thank PCB enough for bringing these two onto our campus. Keep on eye on the campus calendar: check out the events that PCB, SPB, SGA and the different academic departments bring – you just might be surprised at what catches you off guard in the best possible way.