Please join us for In Two Voices, the new interview series from Iowa City Poetry. We invite poets we admire to sit down for a conversation about their work, creative process, and current obsessions. Hosted by KayLee Chie Kuehl, each episode will end by welcoming questions from the audience. Join us!
Participants: Steven Willis interviewed by Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey
Date & Time: Wednesday, January 20, 7:00-8:00 pm CT
Platform: Zoom Webinar. After registering, you will be sent confirmation with the link.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, 27 year old Steven Willis uses his writing background to creatively articulate the intricacies of African American culture. With art heavily influenced by urban life and religion, Steven mixes elements of hip hop and performance with formal teachings of History and anthropology to help express his eclectic personal narrative. Willis began doing spoken word at the age of 15 as a participant of Louder Than A Bomb and has performed for the likes of Charlamagne tha God and Olympic Track Gold Medalist Sonya Richards Ross. Willis is a contributing writer to the BreakBeat Poets Anthology, NYU’s National Council for Teacher of English Journal, Manhattanville College’s Graffiti Magazine and is a 3 time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist. He is currently an MFA Acting Candidate at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey is an Iowa City based spoken word poet who has performed in multiple cities across the US, including Chicago and New York City. He is a winner of the Des Moines Poetry Slam, the Iowa City Poetry Slam, and finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global Slam - Iowa City. Caleb is the author of two books, Look, Black Boy and Heart Notes, along with publications in Best Emerging Writers in Iowa 2019, the Little Village, and Black Art; Real Stories. He is also the founder and director of IC Speaks, an organization that teaches spoken word to local high school students.
KayLee Chie Kuehl is a writer, poet, and filmmaker. As an adopted and multiracial woman, she has spent much of her life wondering where she fits. So, cultivating healing spaces has always been important to her, whether it be through her own material or in a collective.
Her creative works can be found in The Atlas 11 & 12, InkLitMag 14, 15, & 18, Mirror Magazine, Multitudes, Amplify Black Voices, and Quarantine Magazine. Her short film, Nepali Negro was shown in the 2019 Bijou Open Screen. Her work focuses on race/culture, identity, and spirituality.
Currently, she is the Editor in Chief of Black Art; Real Stories (BARS), the Senior Contracts Manager of Student Video Productions (SVP), and occasionally volunteers as a proofreader for TRANS Magazine in Amsterdam.
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