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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Project V.O.I.C.E. encourages all students to speak out with poetry

Ryan Noufer delivers poetry in the Saltair room in the Union on Monday night. Photo by Cole Tan.
Ryan Noufer delivers poetry in the Saltair room in the Union on Monday night. Photo by Cole Tan.
Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression, or Project V.O.I.C.E., brought 250 people together Monday night and filled their ears with original spoken-word poetry.
Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, two spoken word poets and friends since college, have spent the last five weeks touring the country hoping to show people what spoken word is and why it is important.
The event, put on by ASUU, sold out the day before. Event organizer Monica Salas, a health promotion and eduction student and member of the ASUU’s Campus Event Board, said she hoped the event “spreads the word” of spoken-word poetry.
Salas said Project V.O.I.C.E. was more than happy to join the U campus and educate students about poetry.
“Their purpose is to promote spoken-word, so they were excited to come share that with the students,” Salas said.
The U’s own spoken-word edupoetry group, USpeak, opened for Project V.O.I.C.E. Kari Lindsey, a senior in English and master poet within the USpeak group, said the members of Project V.O.I.C.E. are what originally got her into spoken-word.
“I was so excited to have them perform. I couldn’t believe I was opening for them,” Lindsey said.
The large turnout of other poets, students and community members waited anxiously before the event started. Kimberlee Briggs, an undeclared freshman, said she was excited to hear what each poet had to say.
“I’m planning on being moved and gaining some insight. Poetry is usually very moving,” Briggs said.
The quiet murmurs of the large audience subsided when the two poets took the stage and immediately started with a duet poem.
“We were excited to be able to perform here, and the U was a great audience,” Kaye said.
Lindsey hoped students would walk away from the event with a realization that poetry is an important form of communication.
“I wanted students to know that poetry is not dead and that there is a presence [of spoken-word] that they can access here on campus,” she said.
Coming to the U was Project V.O.I.C.E.’s last stop on their latest tour. Kay said if she could give any advice to fellow writers, it would be, “to not be afraid to do bad writing. You just have to write through the bad.”
USpeak and Project V.O.I.C.E. both promote the importance of spoken-word within education, and the overall important of education. USpeak meets every Tuesday in the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities building on campus and encourages anyone interested in spoken-word to attend.
“Our goal is to share experience through words and hope people can relate,” Lindsey said. “You don’t even have to write, just come and share your passion.”
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