English Club and GSA Welcome Kavi Ade

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BY MEGHAN RICE

Staff Reporter

“Do you ever have an experience in your life where you say, ‘I’m going to remember where I was in this moment for the rest of my life,’” said poet Kavindu “Kavi” Ade.

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, Sacred Heart University’s English Club and Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) held a writing workshop and poetry performance in the Art & Design Gallery. The workshop and performance featured Ade.

“It was nice that he took time to talk to us in between reciting his poetry; but then he went real deep with his poetry and made me question my life,” said senior Arianna Taite. “Also, I thought he was really good and inspired me to start writing.”

According to his website, Ade is a writer, activist, arts educator, and a nationally recognized spoken word poet from Philadelphia. He told the audience that he started writing when he was only nine years old, and his first poem was about a duck in a park.

“Kavi is a powerful poet who writes about topics that are relevant to GSA,” said senior Giovanna Gatto, Editorial Managing Editor for the Spectrum and President of the English Club. “So, myself and the president of GSA felt that he was a wonderful choice to give students the ability to learn and engage about writing and identity.”

Before the performance, the Sacred Heart community was invited to attend a writing workshop. During the workshop, everyone worked with Ade and members of English Club and GSA to improve their skills and learn new techniques to enhance their writing.

“At the writing workshop, Kavi did some different types of writing exercises. One that I thought was particularly interesting was based on our vulnerabilities,” said Gatto.

Everyone was asked to place their heads down. When they were tapped on the shoulder, they had to go up to the whiteboard and write something vulnerable that they thought that day.

“While this turned into fuel for stories and poems that we wrote, it also was a chance to understand how to be vulnerable as a writer,” said Gatto. “Kavi explained how writing is personal and he wanted us to feel open in our work.”

Freshman Beth Turello is a new member of the English Club who attended the workshop.

“Writing has always been a passion, so I decided to come and check this out,” said Turello. “The best part of English Club is getting together with people who enjoy the same type of stuff as me.”

Social Chair of GSA, junior Annie Wilson, said that GSA is becoming more involved inside and outside of the Sacred Heart community; doing more collaborative events with other clubs. English Club’s next event will be an open mic night sometime after Thanksgiving.

After the event, President of GSA, senior Rachel Zacharczyk, said what made the whole night so powerful.

“Kavi artistically inspired the creative expression of our vulnerabilities during his poetry workshop. His presence on our campus was striking due to his identity as a person of color who is openly transgender,” said Zacharczyk. “By creating a space to be safely visible through his poetry, the joint efforts of SHU’s English Club and GSA were successful, impactful and beautiful.”

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