The Art of Speech
On Thursday, Feb. 28, Loras College welcomed the appearance of Kyla Lacey, a spoken word artist. Black Student Union brought her back for the second time to help celebrate Black History Month and allow everyone a chance to share their own poetry. Five Loras students shared their own poetry, with Lacey encouraging every poem read. Lacey was published when she was ten and through big name publications like Huffington Post. She speaks at many colleges every year, gathering followers and spreading her views.
Lacey was a different take on the usual poets that visit Loras. She embraces who she is and what she’s been through. She channels this into her poems and writes about her differences. She embraced the stereotypes placed around black people and not only owned them, but made them her own. This is something that spoke to the students here.
“What made me want to bring her back was the big crowd that she had last time, but also her work and what she does for a living. Kyla is a poet that is what I classify as free-lance, meaning that it’s real and is based off of things she experienced or went through in her life,” said sophomore Dominique Jeter, the BSU secretary. She saw Lacey last year and worked to get her to return this year.
“She’s relatable to the audience and has that connection. She bases her poems off real life experiences and things that help shaped her into who she is today”, Jeter continued.
Self-fulfilling prophecy was a concept that Lacey spoke about many times. The idea is that if you tell yourself no, then you’ll live up to it. On the other hand, if you tell yourself yes, that you can do it, then you will. It’s an idea that is supposed to help keep anyone going and bring the confidence up. Lacey used this to encourage anyone who needed it and as advice to future writers.
“I’m gonna be a diva for 37 seconds. Instead of the normal 38,” Lacey said at the beginning of her reading. She started right off the night with humor and kept it up throughout the whole night. Before and after every poem, there was a joke along with a backstory to help enforce the messages of the poem. Most of her comments were with explicit language, poking fun at Iowa, Chicago, or that Loras is a Catholic college where strong language would not be appropriate. There were also jokes about ex’s and a strong comment about Women’s History Month happening in March.
Any audience could find at least one poem that they could relate too. This helped Lacey’s audience grow as the night went on. Her poems could be heard throughout the library and this attracted an even larger audience. People were crowding along the fourth floor balcony to listen to her perform.
“She was funny, very authentic, had really good poems that were needed to be heard,” first-year Samantha Watts, president of BSU, said. She was not here the first time Lacey was at Loras, but was thrilled to be able to see her. “I’ve heard nothing but great things so I was so very excited.”
Lacey closed the night with a Q & A session to answer questions ranging from hair care to tips for writers. BSU was very glad to have her, and Loras can expect to see another appearance from her next year.