Every now and again a person wanders upon something truly spectacular. For me, over the past year or so, that something has been Spoken Word and by extension the poets that come from the industry. In particular Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay, who have a great collection of, quite frankly, incomprehensibly beautiful pieces of work. Performed or written their rhythm, their breaths, their imagery and their depth is so prominent that it leaves what feels like a physical and spiritual imprint within my being. Some might say this is being a little hyperbolic, and perhaps it is, but in recent times I have been so grateful toward the written and spoken word which I have always loved, but only recently found confidence and belief in. It is a medium and an outlet that has almost no limitations, it is one of those channels of expression that seems to go so out of this world, but still make sense on a level that you can’t ever fully put your finger on. It is otherworldly.
So it is endearing and faith restoring to see the full potential of such a medium being projected into so many different communities and on a larger scale than perhaps ever before. It seems almost undeniable that poetry and the spoken word is becoming far more popular than it has been for a shamefully large number of years. Whats-more is it is becoming a way for teachers, and poets to show several groups that everyone has a creative mind and that it is a way in which to deal with the complications of this odd little life. This is where we return again to Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay, such poets that have a desire not just to share their own voices, but to uncover the profound artistry of others. So much so that together they co-direct the inspiring Project V.O.I.C.E. Project V.O.I.C.E as it stands is made up of Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye, Robbie Q. Telfer, Elizabeth Acevedo, Franny Choi and formerly Jamila Woods. Together, all accomplished and astounding poets and creatives, they set out to spread the spoken word, and teach the healing beauty and power of our voices.
As their website (www.projectvoice.co) will tell you they consist of live performances, student workshops and professional development. All with the wish to use “spoken word poetry to entertain, educate, and inspire. Through award-winning performances and innovative workshops, Project VOICE is dedicated to promoting empowerment, improving literacy and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world“.
Their message is one of inspiration, confidence and unity. Life for many people can be pretty difficult and confusing. Programs and performances like those that Project VOICE offer, show the world that there are colours beyond the rainbow, and ways of creating alliance through poetry. Individually they bring so many different qualities to the industry and to their own style, they are funny, sombre, insightful and political. They are a band of poets that share the same want to not let anyone lose the belief in their voice as a weapon for good. They are giving the world what it really needs: delivering poetry and teaching to inspire.
Combined with the fact I’m currently studying a module on Community Theatre and I am well and truly motivated. There are so many different ways to spread a positive message, and to encourage people to find their true potential and to see the greatness in poetry, something that still carries a stigma with it. I have always hoped that some day I might be able to do a very similar style of work, and I believe I will. For now, I will follow Project VOICE’s journey, and hopefully one day see them in action away from a screen. I implore you to do the same, it is a project, a team, and a message that I believe will not be disappearing anytime soon. They are a force to be reckoned with in a world that, to its own disadvantage, still struggles to see the powerful ability of the written and spoken word.
Here are some links and clips to their work and social media:
I do not own any videos or photos mentioned in this blog post. Featured Image belongs to Eilleen Meny Photography (https://www.facebook.com/eileenmenyphotography/?fref=ts)