Edge

The Rat gets iLL

illSpoken Word Wednesdays at The Rat will end with a bang this semester by bringing in one of the hottest collaborations of poets currently touring the world.

Spoken Word is an art form that is growing worldwide as a means for those who wish to express opinions, vent emotions, speak on social or political issues, or simply tell of personal experiences.

Throughout the school year, the Rathskeller has brought in Spoken Word artists such as Oveous Maximus, Bridget Gray, Sekou (tha Misfit), and Bassey Ikpi. This month will feature a collection of poets – Dahlak Brathwaite, Ruby Veridiano-Ching, Nico Cary, and Adriel Luis – called iLL-Literacy. The group is currently at the head of the Spoken Word movement.

The four have toured the globe, traveling to a number of locations ranging from their home in Oakland, Calif., across America, and even venturing to other continents. This year, they have added University of Miami to their map and will be arriving Wednesday after recently stopping at University of Vermont, Occidental College, Denison University, and Wheaton College.

Sophomore Asia Davis is now a regular to the microphone as a poet, but iLL-Literacy was responsible for sparking her interest in Spoken Word.

“They inspired me to look at Spoken Word and to go to my first poetry venue, even though I was too afraid to perform back then,” she said. “They are so quirky, cool and down-to-earth that you can’t help but love them. You can tell they’re just being themselves and their authenticity attracts people.”

From that point on, Spoken Word became a part of Asia’s life.

Covering their own lay of ethnic identities, including Chinese, Filipino, and black, iLL-Literacy is a perfect picture of what Uduak Bassey, a senior and the Spoken Word chair for the Rathskeller Advisory Board, believes is the ultimate goal of  Spoken Word: to provide a platform for people of different backgrounds to appreciate one art form of expression.

Trying to break away from “an age of empty words,” iLL-Literacy’s mission is “to have something to say and for people not only to listen, but to want to listen,” and they have done just that for Asia Davis.

“If you miss this event you’re missing out on pure art. This isn’t your stereotypical Afro-wearing, bongo-beating poetry like you see on television,” Davis said. “This is an experience.”

If You Go

When: Wednesday, April 22 at 8 p.m.

Where: the Rat

Cost: Free

For more about iLL-Literacy, visit ill-literacy.com.

INFO BOX:

If you want even more Spoken Word you can visit these venues in the Miami area throughout the week:

MONDAY
Mellow Mondays
Presented by Def Poet ASIA
Hollywood Blvd and 21st Ave
Hollywood, FL

TUESDAY
Culture Clash
(Second Tuesday of every month)
The Literary Café and Poetry Lounge
933 NE 125th Street
North Miami, FL

WEDNESDAY
The Bohemia Room
(Third Wednesday of every month)
Miami Improv
Coconut Grove, FL

THURSDAY
Poetic Thursdays
The Inner Look
4925 SW 74th Ct
South Miami, FL

FRIDAY
Flow Fridays
The Literary Café and Poetry Lounge
933 NE 125th Street
North Miami, FL

SATURDAY
The Write Side Poets Inc. Youth Poetry
The Write Side Poets Café
5464 NW 19th Street
Lauderhill, FL

SUNDAY
Get Ya Mic/Write Right
The Literary Café and Poetry Lounge
933 NE 125th Street
North Miami, FL

April 19, 2009

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Christine Williamson

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