Poet Kevin Coval visited Central to share his passion for poetry and writing. He gave poetry workshops, visited some classrooms, and culminated his presentation with a well-attended assembly.
Coval performed poems from his new book L-VIS lives: Racemusic Poems during his visit. “I love hearing Coval read his work. He’s such a talented writer that listening to his work is awe inspiring. He becomes such a lively performer when he reads,” Divya Kirti, senior, said,
Kirti also enjoyed Coval’s workshops. “He’s a great teacher, and he really does a great job connecting with the students to both motivate them and make them more self-appreciative. During these workshops, Coval worked a lot on theme. It’s really easy to write just for the sake of writing, but often times the writer forgets the basis of what he or she was writing. He gave a lot of indication of what theme is and how to focus on one topic at a time,” Kirti said.
Coval’s visit also impacted students who are not very passionate about writing and poetry. “Coval taught students that poetry comes from everyone’s personal impact and life experience. Poetry is now seen as a different, more positive thing. Kids who didn’t think they could write are opening up and students are no longer afraid of poetry,” said Ms. Hicks, English teacher. Ms. Hicks is currently working on integrating Coval’s poetry into the English curriculum.
Mr. Lange, English department chair, agreed with Hicks. “Coval’s poetry is really honest rap music from the heart. It takes away the nerdy and private stereotype that poetry has. Coval teaches that poetry is not a bizarre thing that belongs up in the attic, but a part of everyday life,” he said.
Coval even shared lessons that go beyond the writing world. “Kevin always tells students that when it comes down to it, if you want to get good at an art, or a sport, or an instrument, or whatever it is you do, really put 100% into it, because if you put in the time and effort that your hobby deserves, there’s nothing you can’t do with it,” Kirti said.