Enough Said About Sierra DeMulder?
by Amanda Craig
We are nearing the end of August, and before we leave this windy cold month, Enough Said Slam Poetry has powerhouse feature artist Sierra DeMulder lined-up as their last winter warmer.
Sierra, a US slam poet who writes her heart on paper, is touring Australia this month and her next stop is Enough Said, at Janes in Wollongong Thursday 31.
Finding a passion for poetry at eighteen, Sierra shares her personal experiences through her writing to comfort and give her audience a voice and a doorway to their own relatable experiences.
One of the founders of international slam-poetry distributor, Button Poetry, and curriculum director of Slam Camp at Indiana University, Sierra performs at churches, homeless shelters and high-schools, plus recently talked about poetry and her own personal inspirations for her writing on Tedx Talks.
With three books of poetry published over the last six years, (her 2016 release Today Means Amen being the latest installment), and poems published in Huffington Post and Nike, Sierra is a heavy-weight ultimate poet champion!
Talking to Sierra, she reveals her favourite moments of her first visit to Australia; her favourite chapbook from her releases, discusses talking on Tedx Talks, and reveals how poetry is “an act of empowerment”.
Q: What does spoken-word poetry mean for you?
This sounds terribly cliché but I often refer to it as my heart’s truest language. Spoken word is the lens through which I both understand and process the world.
Q: You are currently touring around Australia, with your Enough Said performance coming up at the end of this month in Wollongong as well. Is this your first time performing out here? What are some fun and memorable moments you have experienced so far?
Yes! I’ve had an amazing first visit to Australia so far. I really enjoyed the many museums of Melbourne and this past week, I took a ferry to North Stradbroke Island and got to hike along the coast, watching the whales and dolphins.
Q: Back home in the US you also perform at high schools, colleges, churches, homeless shelters and prisons. What is it like to perform to diverse audiences and how do you feel they respond to your poetry?
Well…hopefully they like it? I think spoken word has a way of connecting people of all different walks of life because it speaks to our shared humanness.
Q: Out of the poems you have written and performed over the years, which one speaks to you the most and why?
Of all my work, I connect most with the poems in my chapbook We Slept Here. They chronicle an abusive relationship I endured and thankfully survived, and the process of writing them was very cathartic and empowering. Also, the readers who can relate to the book (and hopefully find solace in it) are very special to me.
Q: When did you first discover spoken-word poetry, and what inspired you to write?
I first discovered spoken word poetry in undergrad when I was 18. I was inspired to write because I loved the intersection of theatrical performance, literary craft, and raw emotions. It felt like a space I needed to inhabit.
Q: Your poetry is very emotive, relatable and you are really speaking from the heart, which is not only expressed in what you write but in the delivery of your performance. What do you love about sharing stories and experiences through your writing? How would you define your poetry?
Poetry has a way of revealing people’s own truth to themselves. We see ourselves in the stories of others; we can hear our own voices when a poet steps up to the microphone. I love that it can connect us while celebrating the individual. Poetry, to me, is just that: a mirror and a megaphone. It is an act of empowerment because even articulating “I was here, I felt this” can be life-changing for some.
Q: You also recently talked about spoken word poetry and performed on Ted Talks. The poems you shared are beautifully powerful and personal. What was it like to be on that stage and what was it like to talk about inspiration through writing?
The TEDx Talks was great! The organizers were very kind and the audience was incredibly attentive. Speaking about poetry and its impact is something I am incredibly passionate about so the whole experience was very affirming and enjoyable. I hope I translate some of that passion to the viewers at home.
Want to know more about Sierra DeMulder? Check her out via the links below!
Go watch Sierra perform at Enough Said Poetry Slam at Jane's in Wollongong, Thursday August 31.
You can also check out her Tedx Talk, Why Spoken Word Matters, and her performance of Today Means Amen below.
Why Spoken Word Matters
Today Means Amen
Written by SCWC
Posted on August 30, 2017