With a booming voice, Dakoury Godo-Solo ’17 began reciting his spoken word poem, “Not An Open Letter to My Elite Private Boarding School.” His rich voice carried the slow, melodic telling of the story of his life at boarding school throughout the room, evoking a sense of hope and wistfulness in the crowd.
“[Being able to share my poetry] was sort of comforting,” said Godo-Solo. “I’m not going to say I’ve worked through those emotions, but they were emotions I’ve gone through before. The piece itself was something I was really familiar with and can say in my sleep at this point, so it was relaxing in that sense. There was a bit of anxiety because I was like, ‘I don’t know how this is going to go!’ It’s nice to do that piece because it’s so familiar.”
Six students from Word, a club dedicated to writing and sharing spoken word poetry, gathered in the Theatre Classroom last Friday night to share self-written poems. The six performers, Ekan Belo-Osagie ’19, Michael Codrington ’18, Godo-Solo, Carly Kukk ’19, Anna Lopez ’19, and Amiri Tulloch ’18 had worked over Thanksgiving Break to memorize and edit their poems that covered a range of topics from race to personal insecurity.
“I think it went amazing. It was a lot of work to put this together and make sure we had the right amount of performances. The end result was unbelievable and I think that the community really connected with the artists out here,” said Tulloch.
The night was a change from the usual DramaLabs held on Friday nights. According to Hannah Berkowitz ’17, a producer, the two weeks between Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Break did not give the producers enough time to prepare an adequate number of DramaLabs. Instead, they decided to hold a spoken word event in collaboration with Word.
“We were coming up with things to do on this two week period because we didn’t want to do any normal DramaLabs so we were like, ‘What should we do?’ and we emailed [Godo-Solo] and the rest is history. I think spoken word poetry or this brand of spoken word poetry specifically just hits to such personal truth. A lot of that stuff is just really relatable and [are] really big ideas and concepts that people can hold onto and really genuinely feel. I think poetry is about truth and feeling, and that’s what’s cool about tonight,” said Berkowitz.
Codrington delivered two untitled poems, one about cultural appropriation and the other about his cousin’s death. Gesturing with his hands, Codrington spoke powerfully with a deep voice, conveying his feelings of anger, grief, and confusion through his poem.
“It was insane. I don’t share my feelings too often even with my real close friends and making myself vulnerable to the audience was something else. Poetry is one of those things I can do no matter what emotion I’m feeling. I can always feel I can write poems, whether it be strong, aggressive poems like I performed tonight or soft happier poems,” said Codrington.
Tulloch delivered an untitled poem about his racial identity. In a candid manner, he spoke clearly about how his lineage and identity affect who he is and what they means to him in modern-day America.
“It was a way for me to express a lot of things I’ve been feeling as of late about the country that I live in as well as my personality and my humanity and so this poem, me writing it and being able to express that was a release of a lot of creative juices that were flowing, just trying to get my feelings out and understood about a wide range of things in my life right now,” said Tulloch.