The Woman of Her Words project unites classic poetry with modern performance art to serve as a conduit for healing, empowerment, visibility and change.
Hi! I’m Poet Jen Harris and I believe poetry can change the world. For the past 3 years I have dedicated my life to developing a slam poetry scene in Kansas City because this art form has proven to serve as an instrument of change.
Spoken word is growing in popularity and visibility because it empowers people to reveal the full spectrum of their humanity. In our society there is a shortage of opportunity to tell the whole truth and the byproduct of that insufferable silence is a deep disconnection with the world around us. Spoken word opens the doors to conversations about inequality, personal struggles, trauma and triumph against all odds. It gives both the writer and the audience members permission to say “me too.” It develops leadership through personal empowerment, confidence through acceptance – it makes us better, healthier people and we take that out into our communities.
$2,500 ALBUM Completion & Release Party
$2,000 BOOK #2 Completion & Publication
Reasons 1 & 2: I have already released by first book of poetry (Slammed) and because of the incredible response I took select poems into Element Recording Studios and cut a spoken word EP which I want to bring to life in the form of a tangible CD. I will also be finishing my second book of poetry, Me Too, which will include my 60-minute, spoken word, one woman show Woman of Her Words while I serve as a Writer-in-Resident at the Charlotte Street Foundation Sept 2016 - Sept 2017. The scheduling, booking, recording, mixing and mastering are done, but designing/pressing an album + distribution, editing poetry and finalizing a play + the costs of bringing a new book to light (design, format) + marketing materials (print and online) + album release event & all associated costs + venue rental for Woman of Her Words debut & related costs + touring = not enough hours in the day I could work to bring such a lofty endeavor to fruition.
Reason #3: I’m going on tour, from Kansas City to California, to share both the contents of the Slammed and the Flaunting Her Mediocrity album with audiences whom I believe will be positively affected. The tour puts me on the road for a month which means I have two "homes" to consider - the one I will leave behind and return to - and the road. I've already booked the shows, secured places to stay, purchased and packed the merch, now all I need is to get there and do what I was born to do!
SO, JUST WHO AM I? (The long version)
I am a Kansas City-based Spoken Word Poet, Women's Rights and LGBT activist, contributing member & founder of Createful Studios, founder and host of KC Poetry Slam, formerly PoUnd SLAM and co-owner of the Bohemian Bungalow, the artist commune-esque house where my partner Joy (a painter) and I have actively housed traveling musicians and poets for the last four years. In the past 3 years I have performed more than 100 times in a plethora of states, all while finishing my degree, working full time, and running Kansas City Poetry Slam + teaching + volunteering + traveling + writing. My dedication to building a destination poetry scene in KC is infinite and inexhaustible.
I was the first person in my family to go to college. Seven years later, I (finally) graduated Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, emphases in Communication Studies, English Language and Literature. I am the recipient of the 2015 UMKC Jim Wanser Pride Award for outstanding LGBT community activism in Kansas City. Additionally, I received the Top 3 Poets in Kansas City award from Pitch Magazine 2014 & 2015, and the 2009 ACP Kansas Journalist of the Year. I founded PoUnd SLAM in 2014 and rebranded it to Kansas City Poetry Slam in June 2016. We formed the first Poetry Slam, Inc certified poetry slam in Kansas City, attended national events, hosted tri-state competitions and formed a slam team who rehearsed weekly for an entire year in an effort to perform at Nationals. Through PoUnd SLAM and Poetic Underground we nurtured emerging poets in Kansas City to find their voice and use it!
My first book of poetry, Slammed, released via Spartan Press Feb. 27, 2016.
Tickets and the first printing of books sold out opening night. 200 copies sold the first month. Not bad for a local poet.
*As you've heard by now*
- Me Too & Woman of Her Words are in process.
- Educational spoken word curriculum for positive change is in process.
- The Multiple Personalities tour is BOOKED throughout Sept. 2016
- The Flaunting Her Mediocrity album release show is tentatively scheduled at The Buffalo Room October 9, 2016 and will feature the astounding musicial stylings of Calvin Arsenia, Eman Chalshotori, and Mirina Landry prior to my performance.
- Tickets are EXCLUSIVELY available at the $50 donation level.
- Host and founder of Kansas City Poetry Slam & Poetry After Dark Open Mic, an all-ages open mic.
MORE ABOUT THE ALBUM:
I worked with the remarkable Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios to record Flaunting Her Mediocrity. The album includes the delicious musical stylings of Eman Chalshotori, Mirina Landry, Ryan Wilks and Summer Osborne and was mixed and mastered by Mr. Nanos himself.
IN THE RECENT PAST:
In 2015 I opened for internationally-acclaimed Spoken Word Poet Andrea Gibson at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, featured in a private showcase at the illustrious FOLK Alliance International Conference, and produced shows for contemporary, published poets including Clementine Von Radics, Joseph Capehart, Pages Matam, and Alexander Dang, as the Slammaster of Kansas City's first PSi certified poetry slam, PoUnd SLAM (now Kansas City Poetry Slam) in addition to performing across the country at music festivals, private shows, on college campuses, LGBTQIA community centers, women's rights empowerment groups, protests and rallies, poetry readings, living rooms, parking lots, city sidewalks and anywhere else my voice can make a positive impact.
WHY I DO THIS:
Poetry has made me the ethnographer of a generation tangled in tradition and technology. My work is poetic memoir, a confessional assortment of personal and adopted stories of life on and off the grid; substance use, abuse survival, coming out stories, the New Age shift in mindfulness, the cross-country migration of artists in search of paying work both plentiful and fulfilling, the demise of the corporate culture, the defiance of media-induced prepackaged lives and conversely, the beauty created when people unite on a common front for a common purpose. Culturally, we have never existed in a time with so much need and so many wasted resources. I feel a deep moral responsibility to document injustice and victory alike in an effort to put human faces on the social movements of our time.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
I love what I do. I truly believe Spoken Word can inspire constructive change both in our selves and our communities, empower the disenfranchised, unite us in our humanity and make us better, individually and as a collective species.
Thank you so very much for your time and consideration.
Together we CAN and WILL make the world a better place.
Risks and challenges
The challenges or potentially unexpected obstacles related to the Woman of Her Words project are minimized, in part because, I have already done a large majority of the work associated with this endeavor. The 2nd book of poetry is written and editing is in process. The 60 minute one-women spoken word show is a culmination of books 1,2 and new work. The Flaunting Her Mediocrity album is already recorded, mixed, and mastered. The venues and vendors are booked. The quotes are locked in. The publisher is committed. The artwork for marketing has been created. The tour is booked. Now I just need to fund these wild ambitions of mine and bring this work to the world - that's where you come in.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)