Did you know that art can be seen outside of museums & that it isn’t just in the form of paintings or drawings? Have you ever heard of Spoken Word? Spoken Word is an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of any poetry recited aloud. Meet Kendra Renee, a Spoken Word artist who seeks to changes lives, one piece at a time.
Originally from Chicago, IL, but now residing in St. Louis, MO, Kendra Renee is a Social – Emotional Learning Facilitator for middle school students as well as a Spoken Word artist. Kendra is driven by knowing that she can make a difference in her community, and is doing just that! Though unable to remember what inspired her to do Spoken Word, Kendra’s passion for the art is fierce! When constructing pieces, Kendra focuses on things she personally relates to; i.e. being Black and being a woman, just to name a couple.
“I try to speak to audiences that can relate to what I’m saying. I feel there’s more of a connection there.”
For Kendra, creating her pieces vary in times, as it can take as little as a few minutes or as long as a few months…or longer. Her pieces are generally between 2.5 – 3 minutes, but she says she truly admires artists who can write longer poems; and she aspires to get there one day. In the beginning, Kendra dealt with the challenge of fear, but that didn’t stop her or take her away from her passion.
“F E A R. I still face that now. Feelings of inadequacy. There are some doppeee artists on the poetry scene and sometimes I don’t feel sufficient, honestly.”
To date, Kendra has done more Spoken Word pieces than she can count, which makes sense for an amazing BOSS of her talent! Kendra’s performances include open mics, competitions, radio appearances and paid gigs. Locationally, she has performed in Chicago (and surrounding areas), St. Louis, New York, Indiana, and Texas! (BOOM).
Going beyond where is known, but what is she known for, Kendra’s favorite piece, Black Lives Matter, focuses on the injustices of the system and pays homage to the Kings and Queens we’ve lost at the hands of being Black in America.
“My ‘Black Lives Matter’ piece is my most popular one. Mainly because it’s the one I keep performing, lol. I’m most connected to this piece and I think the audiences I perform in front of connect with it as well.”
Kendra acknowledges Spoken Word as an art form that carries power in numbers, which drove her to produce a group poetry show in 2012, entitled “Silenced Voices, Unheard Stories.” Kendra and three other artists shared a stage to bring awareness to issues that have been shunned or disregarded in the African American community. On the order of there being power in numbers, Kendra is inspired by numerous artists, some of which she’s had the pleasure of performing on the same stage as.
When asked which Spoken Word Artist she admires the most, this is what Kendra had to say,
“Just one? Ohh I cannot pick just one. Out of Chicago, I admire K.Love, HoodRaised, PHENOM, Kells, Real T@lk. Out of St. Louis, I admire Corey Black, Louis Conphliction….& those are just a few!”
Spoken Word isn’t the only amazing talent Kendra has, as she is also into visual art – painting, drawing, and [now looking into] filmmaking! (BOSS STATUS!)
If you’re interested in becoming a Spoken Word Artist, Kendra has the following advice,
“Be real! Be authentic! Be you! Honestly. Find your style and be comfortable in it. Research artists for inspiration. Allow yourself to grow in the craft.”
Make sure you keep up with Kendra and her Spoken Word pieces on:
If you’re interested in booking Kendra for her services, you can do so via email: