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Poet Kennedy reads at Hale

By Julia Beauregard
Hometown Weekly Correspondent

Hale Education welcomed guest poet Kayla Kennedy to its monthly poetry reading on Wednesday, January 4.

Kennedy is a Massachusetts-born poet, as well as an actress and fiction writer. She is the author of “This is How You Love”, a poetry collection. Kennedy is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, working alongside families affected by autism and other social disabilities.

The evening represented her second time reading at Hale — although this was her first time reading in person, as her first was conducted via Zoom nearly a year ago.

Kennedy began her reading with four slam poetry pieces, which are pieces of poetry that are performative in nature and interactive between the reader and their crowd. These poems included themes of self love, the female experience, and political undertones.

After concluding the last slam reading, Kennedy shared with the crowd that she is pregnant and delivered a poem she wrote that included her musings on pregnancy: “once he is here, I’ll forget what it’s like to be drowning,” Kennedy relayed, anticipating the relief she will feel after childbirth, due to the physical difficulties she has faced during her pregnancy.

This poem allowed for a transition for Kennedy to share some of the shorter, softer poems from her book, “This Is How You Love”, which was self-published on January 1, 2022.

“These poems are near and dear to my heart, but I don’t get to perform them very often,” Kennedy stated before she shared the works. These pieces included themes of addiction, love, growing up, and relationships.

Kennedy started writing when she was old enough to start stringing sentences together on paper. “But I didn’t really realize what I was doing could even be considered poetry well into college,” she admitted.

It wasn’t until she went to her first slam poetry reading, which her friend made her attend, that she realized she had been writing poetry all along. She enjoyed the performative action of slam poetry as well, which is what began her path as a poet. “All of the best things that happened to me, happened by accident,” Kennedy shared with a smile.

For more information on Kayla Kennedy and her poetry collection, “This Is How You Love”, check out www.thekennedyluck.com

Hale Education conducts monthly poetry readings on the first Wednesday of every month. The night begins at 6:30 p.m. with an open mic before the guest poet reads at 7 p.m. For more information, visit hale1918.org/explore/events/

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