Voice Identity Project

The Voice Identity Project

March 2013, Berkshire County 

This is an intensive workshop focused on the writing and performing of Spoken Word Poetry. We each have a story, a voice, and an identity that deserves to be shared with the world. One of the most powerful and effective ways to share your voice is through Spoken Word. It gives everyone the chance to share their story with the world. After this workshop, you will fully understand how to craft an effective poem and how to perform that poem in a powerful way. Each person will have at least one raw and real product—an authentically unique personal narrative--by the end of this workshop. FREE!

In addition to the workshop:

Each selected participant will be given the opportunity to perform their work at Multicultural BRIDGE Cultural Competency Awards Ceremony (July 2013). This is an incredible, unique opportunity for the young people of Berkshire County. Every person is guaranteed to grow and learn something new and exciting about themselves through their own words and the power of their own experience.

Workshop Leader & Producer, Kori Alston

Kori Alston is a Multicultural BRIDGE Youth Corps Leader, accomplished actor and award-winning Spoken Word performer. Native of Berkshire County, graduate of Rudolph Steiner School, former Monument Mountain Regional High School student and now studying at Walnut Hills Performing Arts Center.

Accompanied by:

Andrew Otsuka and JV Hampton VanSant, Multicultural BRIDGE Diversity leaders of Real Talk

Kori Alston’s Spoken Word

Kori Alston, an actor and poet from Housatonic, has shared some of his work with us. I heard Kori read this poem at a performance this summer, and he held the whole audience silent. As he said last week, when we talked with him on his Thanksgiving break, poetry should be raw and real. This is.


When I was young, I was the only black or 
Biracial kid in my class for almost 10 years.
I did not understand, so I asked my mother: 
Why is my skin a different color?
Why are my freckles darker, mom? Why is my hair so curly? 
Mom, why are my lips bigger? 
Why is my nose wider?
Why am I lighter than all my cousins
But darker than all my friends?
Why do people think I can shoot a basketball? 
Why are people so surprised to find out that 
I’m the top of my class but aren’t surprised at all 
To find out that I’m faster than all my friends? 
Why do my friends think I listen to rap music 
And feel the need to explain the rules of chess to me 
Every single time, like I don’t know that a knight moves in an L 
And a king moves one space at a time in any direction? 
Why am I labelled black when my skin looks brown to me? 
Why don’t I look like you or dad? 
Why don’t I have anyone that looks like me? 
Why, mom? 
Why am I so different? 
Why, mom? 

And my mother looked into my big green eyes and she said: 
Because you’re my son. 
Because your freckles make people smile 
And your smile makes people laugh. 
Because you are perfect in every way. 
Because you were put on this Earth to change the World. 
You’re different because special, 
And you’re special just because you’re you.