Story by Malia Myers
“Poetry to me is a way to express myself in the most blissful way I can. Poetry is brutally honest and very vulnerable. It’s a platform to say things that not everyone wants to say or hear about,” said Junior Ogechi Ofodu.
“I’ve been writing poetry since I was about thirteen,” said Ofodu. “I wasn’t very happy in middle school, so I wrote to express my feelings in a way I couldn’t do out loud.”
“When I was younger, I wrote about emotions and as I got older, I started doing more social commentaries,” she said.
Her inspiration for poems comes from everywhere. “I just observe the world, but what usually happens is a line pops into my head, and I go from there,” Ofodu said.
Not everyone agrees with the point of view Ofodu takes in her poems, but she said “if you’re a poet or if you identify as a poet, there’s a certain way that you view the world that’s different from everyone else.”
While poetry is about Ofodu’s thoughts, appealing to as wide an audience as possible is equally as important to her. “Kind of like an English essay, how you choose to either persuade, entertain, or inform, in all my poems, I try to do all three,” she said. “If I persuaded you to think a different way through my piece, I informed you about a topic that you hadn’t really heard about, and I entertained you through the whole thing, then that’s the best thing I can possibly do for the audience.”
Through all this, Ofodu has friends to support her along the way. “I don’t help her with poetry much,” said Nancy White, “it is all internal for her, but if she sounds off, she tells me what she’s thinking about writing and I give her my feedback.”
“She just has a passion for [poetry], and it’s great because she is so good,” White said.
“I have one friend, Sydney, who wants to go to every poetry slam,” said Ofodu.“I try to make any event she has that includes her poetry or allowing her the opportunity to share by letting others know that she write poetry,” said Junior Sydney Brooks.
The creativity seen in Ofodu today is not a new sight. “I definitely think she has always had a creative side such as her wanting to be a filmmaker and being in theater,” said Brooks. “She is also on Generation Rap with me which is a teen talk show where they push us to bring out our creative sides.”
Ofodu is also part of a team that writes and competes their poetry pieces. “It’s called a slam team. My team that I’m a part of is called the Kansas City Poet-Tree,” she said, “We are like a big family, and I can always call any of them.”