A Night of Performance Poetry in Jakarta
Hearing the word “poetry” might conjure up the image of legendary poets of the past, such as Neruda or Yeats, and their beautiful verses. Well, that, or your seventh-grade classmate who tried to impress his crush through lovey-dovey poems. Yes, it seems poetry starts losing its mojo these days, especially among the youth.
But if you come to cultural center @america this Saturday night, you might want to rethink that notion.
Produced by Khairani Barokka, an artist/writer-performer, “So They Say You Hate Poetry! Art Out Loud by Poet-Performers” will showcase something that many Indonesians are yet to be familiar with: performance poetry, or popularly known as spoken word. At first glance, you might think this stage act is similar with rapping or stand-up comedy performances, but essentially, it is something different.
This is a form of poetry being spoken where performers combine words, sounds and creative cadence to impact the audience. There are no rules in performance poetry. And listener beware, these poems contain strong language and adult themes.
In this event, three American poet-performers will be broadcasted through live video from the US. They are Beau Sia, who garnered his fame through HBO’s Def Poetry Jam; Mayda del Valle, who once performed in front of the Obamas at the White House; and Gill Sotu of San Diego who combines his spoken word performance with catchy vocal melodies.
[To have a picture on what to expect in the event, watch Sia’s amazing and hilarious
“Asian Invasion” here, del Valle’s forceful performance at the
White House here, as well as Sotu's
soulful act here.]
Khairani, affectionally known as Okka, will also perform her own piece and give a talk about the development of performance poetry, its hip-hop influence and relation with social justice activism, as well as the possibility of adapting this craft in Indonesia.
Asked about how she feels on collaborating with these performance poetry virtuosos, Okka says, “To be given the opportunity to do this is just unreal for me. It is a dream come true to share the stage with any of them. And to share their voices with Jakarta, where I come from, is truly unbelievable.”
So They Say You Hate Poetry! Art Out Loud by Poet-Performers
Saturday, June 9
Starts 7 p.m.
Pacific Place, Level 3