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"The Poetry of Me" Encourages Self-Exploration And Expression Through Verse

The intimate crowd was invited to share their thoughts on race and personal identity through spoken word. Guests wrote their six-word stories on the subject using cards from Michele Norris’ The Race Card Project

Credit Erin Williams
Local poet MK Stalling recites a poem at "The Poetry of Me," held on April 30 at UMSL at Grand Center. The event invited participants to lose their racial baggage and define their personal identity.

The event was co-hosted by Erin Williams of St. Louis Public Radio and Nicole Hollway of the St. Louis Beacon. The event was inspired through an effort to “lose racial baggage,” an idea that has been explored in a bi-weekly column written by Dr. Kira Banks.

Local poets MK StallingsBella Words, and Fresh Ink STL’Henry Goldkamp each read a few selections from their own notebooks and tablets, and professor and St. Louis Beacon contributor Kira Banks  shared the highlights of her life story by using the “I Am From” poem template.

First time and seasoned poets also delivered words of wisdom. 

Credit Erin Williams

The act of courage stood out to other attendees, including St. Louis native Karah Leibovitch, who attended the event. “One beautiful poet confessed that she'd been writing for years but that this was her first public reading. After she read two poems she decided she'd better read another 'because it takes a lot of courage to get up for something like this,' making me think that you gain more confidence as you go.

She certainly did.” 



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