Martha’s Vineyard is home to many wonderful and talented poets. However, not many of them are of the Nuyorican Poet’s Café school of spoken word poets. This weekend, the will host Ceez Liive for both a performance and a workshop on Saturday.
When Ceez Liive, born Cynthia Keteku, took home second place in the 2009 New York Knicks Poetry Slam Program, she was 18 years old and things have not been the same since.
In the past three years, she has made a name for herself on the slam poetry circuit winning awards like the 2009 Urban Word NYC grand slam championship; taking 2nd place in the first ever Youth Poet Laureate competition; and winning both the 2010 Philadelphia Youth Grand Slam Championship and the 2010 Robert Redford Going Green Grand Slam Championship.
She has also been featured at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Madison Square Garden, The Chicago Theater, The Saban Theatre and several other venues throughout the United States.
Her solo show “Ma Heels” premiered in December 2009 at the Dance Theater Workshop. The Dance Theater Workshop featured four poets who were selected to go on a four-month journey within themselves and compile solo shows.
“This contemporary one woman show is about a girl’s journey to comfort within her family and sexuality,” said Ceez said.
Ceez recently made her break into feature films with a part in the 2011 film “Gun Hill Road” that was a finalist for the esteemed Jury Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Ceez has dedicated her time to offering inspiration and solutions for issues as teenage pregnancy, absentee parents, date rape, racism, poverty, peer pressure, illiteracy, cultural identity, community, gang crime and violence.
Ceez has only been to Martha’s Vineyard once before for a wedding when she was a young girl. However, upon meeting Carolyn Sands at the Connecting for Change conference in New Bedford, both were determined to get Ceez to the Island.
Ceez will offer an Art of Spoken Words workshop at the Pit Stop on Saturday at 2 pm that is open to all ages.
“I teach poetry workshops and hip hop workshops, but my favorite is when I get to incorporate both,” said Ceez. Her method usually consists of choosing a lyric from a hip-hop artist who uses a lot of poetry in their rhymes.
“Then we remix them,” she explained. “We mix them up and break them apart and then the class will write a poem of their own, from their own life perspective based on that.”
Ceez is also planning to work with anaphora poems at the workshop.
“An anaphora poem is when you take one line and it repeats at the end or beginning of every stanza. After we do the remixes, I’ll probably have them pick one line from their remix and use that as the anaphora.”
While her trip to the Island this time will be brief, Ceez is glad that she’ll have time to workshop here as well as perform.
“Workshops are more intimate and my goal in life is to really meet as many people as I can,” she said. “So I want everybody to come out. I want to meet as many people that live on the Island as possible.”
Ceez Liive at the Saturday May 19,2012: Art of Spoken Words workshop (open to all ages) 2 pm $10 entry / $5 members; Spoken Word Performance 8 pm (doors open at 7 pm) $10 entry/ $5 members