Kavi Ade to share poetry at GVSU

GVL / Courtesy - dailynorthwestern.com

GVL / Courtesy – dailynorthwestern.com

Taylor Crowley

Spoken-word poet Kavindu (Kavi) Ade will be bringing their talent to Grand Valley State University on Thursday, March 29, at 6 p.m. The event will be held in the Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center Multipurpose Room.

The event is being presented by the GVSU QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) student organization, which decided to invite Ade because the poet’s work centers on identity and social justice. 

Ade’s “Mending Masculinity” tour has been running since February and will continue until July. The poet was a recipient of the 2016 Leeway Transformation Award, Brave New Voices and The Watering Hole Poetry fellowship. 

Ade’s work focuses on the intersections of topics such as race, gender, street harassment, sexuality, love and relationships while also confronting the manifestations of violence against the black trans and queer body. 

The poet has performed at more than 50 colleges and universities worldwide, including Yale University, Michigan State University and Penn State. 

Jarred Daniels, vice president of QTPOC, is helping put the event together. Daniels said the organization wanted to bring someone to campus who would speak truth to the people at GVSU. The organization as a whole agreed on a shared love of poetry and spoken word. After some brainstorming on what kind of event they wanted to put together, they decided to invite Ade. 

The group was looking for someone who would represent what the group is about in full form. Ade’s work deals with social identity as Ade identifies as a queer and trans person of color. 

Their experiences are expressed in their work and may be relatable for someone who is in the queer community, particularly if they are also a person of color. The organization wanted to invite somebody who would connect with the audience. 

“Kavi talks about being queer, trans and black in their poems and how they all come together,” Daniels said. “As a black queer person, I relate to a lot of their experience.”

As a women, gender and sexuality studies major, Daniels said he understands the balance between power and identity, and he said Ade’s spoken-word poetry touches on these topics. 

Daniels talked about his time growing up as a black queer person and said he relates to many topics Ade covers, particularly ones that pertain to homophobia. Daniels, like Ade, has chosen to focus his life on living in his truth and being true to who he is as a person. 

“I know about not really feeling like you belong in certain communities due to (my) different identities,” Daniels said. “To see someone speaking on that, living in their truth, saying, ‘Here’s what I’ve gone through,’ and turn it into art is really beautiful.” 

The QTPOC organization hopes that when people attend the event, they will notice this lesson in the performance. All are encouraged to attend the event, which is LIB 100- and 201-approved. For more information about Ade, visit their website at www.kaviadepoetry.com