CSA Spotlight: Kelli Stevens Kane

May 9, 2013
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“Watching Kelli perform is an intimate experience. There is a spiritual, kind of mystical element…her words are so powerful and her presence is magnetic–almost otherworldly.”

-Amanda Gilby, Fiction Contest Winner, Hip Mama Magazine

Poet, playwright, and oral historian, Kelli Stevens Kane unearths surprises at the crossroads of human vulnerability and possibility.  Always on the go with a project in hand, Kane has performed her work across the country while managing to write three manuscripts and serving as the program director for Poetic Side, an online poetry radio show.

As the inaugural artist of our CSA Performance Series, Kane weaves a performance-portrait of her grandmother, Georgetta Holmes Stevens, or “Big George” to her family and friends.  A tiny woman with a colossal personality, Big George used to take her family to visit funeral homes, whether or not she knew the deceased.  She was funny, frank, and always spoke her mind, and her contagious authenticity made everyone she met just a little more bold.

The characters Kane summons up in her one-woman performance remind us that we’re all connected, and Big George’s story becomes that of a community, celebrating the legacy of Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District, African American culture, and the enormous potential for memory to shape our daily lives.

Kelli Stevens Kane will be teaching a free Cave Canem poetry workshop for African American poets later this month.  You can find more information on the Cave Canem website.

If you’d like to read a sample of Kane’s poetry, you can find a wide variety on kellistevenskane.com and you can follow her on Twitter @kskpoet.

Kane’s performance happens on August 10.  Learn more and become a CSA shareholder on our event page.