CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- He is well known in Charlotte’s growing poetry community, and now Jaycee Cowan is using the spoken word to reach out to hundreds of people.
Words of joy, words of rage and words of purpose, he says.
“This is really like poet's church. This is our confession, this is where we put it all out there,” Cowan says.
For Cowan, each word spoken is a reflection of his dedication to helping to nurture his craft of the spoken word.
“I figured, hey, I just got to come here and get something started, kind of spear-head something.”
Ten years ago Cowan came to Charlotte, but when he looked for a place to share his love of poetry, he was lost.
“There were a few open mikes, but if you wanted to go one week, the next week it might not be there.”
But that's not to say there was not a desire.
“I feel like…I did it not for myself but for the poets of Charlotte.”
So with the help of others, Cowan’s desire came to light and for the past seven years the spoken word now has a home at the Wine Up in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood.
Cowan and the other poets have taken their talents into the schools.
“We do workshops. It’s all about writing and getting them to express themselves. To help inspire students to achieve by using this form of communication to help break down walls,” Cowan added. “It just gives these kids the opportunity to put themselves out there to expose themselves as well.”
It’s a form of expression that Cowan says will continue to prosper and grow.
“I have so many poets come back to me and say this is the first place I ever wrote a poem and you guys encouraged me to go on. And so to me it lets me know that you we're doing something right.”