Kyla Lacey Brings Slam Poetry to Straus
by Hannah Hoffman on Friday, March 7th, 2014
Last Friday, February 28th, the Milton community welcomed Kyla Lacey, a renowned spoken word artist, to Straus for an informal event of poetry reading and comprehensive discussion. Lacey, who has won and been nominated for numerous awards including, but not limited to, APCA’s Poet of the Year and CA Magazine’s Best Female Artist, performed her own poetry and discussed her inspiration and process.
Through her written work, which is primarily autobiographical, Lacey focused on the broad topic of relationships. “I think that Kyla’s main idea was to illustrate the different kinds of relationships there are in the world,” said Lizzy Finer (II). “The good, the bad, the awful, and the silly. She demonstrated the importance of connecting with others and expressing our feelings to one another.” Mark Iraheta (II) agreed with Lizzy on what Kyla’s main focus was, commenting, “She talked a lot about her struggles in her love life and in her everyday life.”
One aspect of the performance that students seem to have enjoyed was Lacey’s introductions to the poems. “Before each poem, she would share some background of what events inspired her to write,” said Mark. “She shared a lot of personal events and feelings, and I’d say her honesty and vulnerability added to her overall message of being fearless and of putting yourself out there.” Lizzy also enjoyed Kyla’s prefaces, saying, “My favorite part was the ‘in between points,’ when Kyla talked about the meaning of her poems. Having the background illustrated a deeper connection within the poem that I was able to pick up on.”
Regarding Lacey’s poetry enactments, Clementine Wiley (III) said, “She performed her poems emotionally, powerfully enunciating every word and using fast-paced word play, which made the poetry fun because the listeners had to focus to understand.”
Lizzy agreed, finding the personal connections Lacey made to be the most enticing aspects of the performance, “I think that Kyla’s poems added meaning [to her message], because they sounded lighthearted, but the more you thought about them, the deeper the meaning was. She tends to use double-meaning words into her poetry, giving the listener something to think about as she speaks.”
Mark and Clementine also noticed the “double-meaning words” in Lacey’s poetry, for Kyla mentioned at the beginning of the event, “I have always loved words with double meanings, like ‘revolution,’” hinting that she would use this dialect throughout her performance. “The double meanings gave her stories little twists that added insightful depth,” said Clementine.
Another unique aspect of Lacey’s performance was her use of humor. Lizzy explained, “She is extremely funny, which [ensued]… a type of light-heartedness throughout the room. I think that [the humor]… both added to and detracted from her performance, because I think she tried to be funny when the time was supposed to be serious. However, she appropriately portrayed excitement and humor through the poems about the good parts of relationships.”
Mark also appreciated Lacey’s humor, saying, “Kyla really tried to get personal with the audience by making jokes at times and then by being serious as well. My favorite part was her humor in all of her spoken word; she really had a way of making the audience laugh and have a good time.”
Although this event was Kyla’s first experience performing for high school students, the audience found her message to be quite relevant to the community. “I think that her performance was relevant to our community, because during high school, it is important for teenagers to establish relationships with both peers and teachers that they will hold for the rest of their lives,” said Lizzy. “Learning how to gain and maintain relationships is extremely important to know how to do, because having the knowledge allows for people to be able to do it easier in the future.”
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