Kaleidoscope’s keynote artist to conduct poetry workshop


Ekiwah Adler-Belendez

Ekiwah Adler-Belendez will conduct a poetry workshop and live performance during his April 20 visit to Slippery Rock University. Both events, to be staged at the Smith Student Center Theatre, are part of SRU's Kaleidoscope Arts Festival.

Kaleidoscope Arts Festival 2017 logo

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Attendees of Slippery Rock University's Kaleidoscope Arts Festival will not only have the opportunity to enjoy the performance of the festival's "keynote artist," they'll learn about his craft as well. Ekiwah Adler-Belendez will conduct a poetry workshop at 10 a.m., April 20 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. The 45-minute workshop is free and open to the public.

Adler-Belendez, an acclaimed poet from Mexico City, first read his poetry at SRU eight years ago, so when he was in Pittsburgh in September for a jazz poetry event, he contacted Sunita Peacock, SRU associate professor of English. Peacock attended his performance and invited him back to the University to participate at Kaleidoscope.

Despite being afflicted with cerebral palsy and bound to a wheelchair, Adler-Belendez is able to identify with college-aged students in a way that is funny, yet inspirational.

"He was just like (the students) only in a wheelchair," Peacock said. "He has a great sense of humor and he's very engaging even though he has this disability. He was received very well when he came here in 2009."

According to Peacock, attendees of the poetry workshop can expect to learn basic skills and participate in writing exercises to create their own poetry. They also will learn how Adler-Belendez started writing poetry and how to overcome any fears of writing.

Adler-Belendez will perform at 5 p.m., April 20 in the Smith Student Center Theatre in an event that is also free and open to the public. The show, "Love on Wheels," is an intimate and funny poetry reading about the challenges, joys and complexities of life in a wheelchair.

"He talks about sex, love, music, his childhood, anger, all the kinds of things younger people go through with more passion," Peacock said. "When you're younger, you feel like nothing is going to work out and this is the end, those kinds of feelings. They are very real. He's able to connect with his audience because of that."

Adler-Belendez will then partner with Greg Josselyn for a presentation of their original piece, "The Play: a performance on travel, friendship, and the nature of art," about two friends documenting their experiences into a stage play as the lines between life and art disintegrate.

A catered reception will immediately follow the performance.

For more information about SRU's Kaleidoscope Arts Festival, which runs through April 29, visit: http://www.sru.edu/life-at-sru/arts-and-culture/kaleidoscope-arts-festival.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu