On Saturday, February 23rd, spoken poet Khary Jackson performed for a small group of Beacon College students, staff, and friends. The intimate setting afforded Mr. Jackson an opportunity to explain the dynamics of spoken poetry and to encourage students to work on their own forms of creative expression.
Before beginning the set, Mr. Jackson urged the audience to respond to the poems as they saw fit. Any reaction, whether verbalizing agreement with an idea or just sitting there quietly and reflecting, was deemed acceptable. There were a few poems set to music, which were very popular with the audience, and the tone of the poems varied from happy and upbeat to tragic. Mr. Jackson insisted on ending with a happier, lighthearted poem. A couple of poems from his first book of poetry, Any Psalm You Want, were covered, and Mr. Jackson accepted a student’s request to include the poem that helped his team win the National Poetry Slam contest in 2010.
Mr. Jackson wrapped up the event by accepting questions from the audience. This provided an opportunity to consider the themes of the poems and to learn more about the process of writing and performing a piece. One Beacon College student strives to be a spoken poet himself, so he asked for advice on how to proceed down this path. Mr. Jackson advised the student to have confidence in his ability and to be an authentic, genuine person when performing. He also urged the student to consider his audience when performing and to choose poems that they will be able to relate to.
Khary Jackson’s visit gave the students an opportunity to learn more about a different art form and to see an expert in the field perform. It was a unique experience, and we were fortunate to have such a talented artist on campus!