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Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey: Using Spoken Word Techniques

March 9 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am CST

When a poet steps to the microphone, truth on the tip of their tongue and vulnerability in their voice, you listen. But what writing techniques does a performance poet use to hook their audience? From the syntax of the first line, to the structure of the whole poem, spoken word artists have found multiple ways to keep the audience’s attention. You may be a master at creating images, a poet that can capture passion and pain, even a talented storyteller, but if you cannot hook your audience they won’t stick around long enough for you to prove it. This workshop, designed for novice and experienced poets, will focus on the hook by examining the spoken word artists that have found a way—in just a minute—to capture the attention of millions of viewers online. The artists include names such as Neil Hilborn, Javon Johnson, Sabrina Benaim, Blythe Bard, and many others.

​Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey is an author, performer, and producer. His debut book, “Look, Black Boy,” was awarded first prize in the North Street Book Prize, and his second book, “Heart Notes” was published in 2019. He released two spoken word albums, a studio version of Look, Black Boy, and a performance album titled, Heart Notes Live! For three years in a row he was named Best Poet/Spoken Word Performer in Cedar Rapids & Iowa City. He is the winner of several slams across the United States, has shared the stage with spoken word titans such as Siaara Freeman, Javon Johnson, Ebony Stewart, Anthony McPherson, and Patricia Smith. Videos of his performances can be found on his YouTube channel, Write About Now, and Button Poetry. When he is not writing and performing he is actively curating a community of spoken word poets in Iowa City through his high school program, IC Speaks, and producing events like the Mic Check Poetry Fest.

Registration is required via the Nebraska Poetry Society website. Free with annual membership; nominal fee for non-members. Students, minors and others for whom the registration fee is prohibitive may request a free membership.


March 9
10:00 am - 11:00 am CST
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Nebraska Poetry Society
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