Selas-Semira Kokayi: MA Literary Journal & Sharing from the Mess

Selas-Semira Kokayi: MA Literary Journal & Sharing from the Mess
Amy Barnard

After seeing the poem Selas-Semira Kokayi* wrote for a recent Minnehaha Academy literary journal, we asked Selas to share her poem as well as a little about her writing journey.



Poetry doesn't have to be pretty. It can be messy. I think that is what I learned while working on this poem.

Ms. Henderson asked us to prepare a spoken word piece for our final project, which was new to me. She gave us a lot of time to brainstorm and process our work, asking about our ideas and helping us think through the ones we really wanted to hone in on, which I loved. 

My thinking about poetry really shifted through this project. Working on "I'm OK," I realized that poetry is about taking people on a journey; it's telling a story. I saw that the words didn't have to be all formal and pretty: What happens to you in life isn't going to be perfect. It can be ugly. And in writing you can reflect that. It might be messy. That's OK.

Through the process I became more open to being vulnerable in my writing, both in what I wrote and how I shared it, even to the point of submitting the poem for the school's new literary journal.

First page of the PDF file: Selas-SemiraKokayiPoem


*Photo courtesy Shoott.



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