Spiritual poetry and workshop

Slam poet and author Marlanda Dekine held a writing workshop and readings in the Recital Hall of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts building on Nov. 1.

Dekine said their experiences from their childhood and culture are heavily based around spirituality. They said their writing helps them feel connected to their experiences.

The presentation started with a short film which showed the landscape and nature of where Dekine is from, which they said formed the connection that they have with their culture. They are from Plantersville, South Carolina, which is a Gullah Geechee community nearby Georgetown County.

Dekine spoke in a poetic style about their ancestors and history related to them in the film.

Dekine then shared readings from their poetry book, “Thresh and Hold,” with some of the poems including “I Am Bound for De Kingdom” and “First Lady of the Church.” They led guided breathing exercises aimed to connect with oneself, mixed with short breaks to jot down all the things that came to mind during it.

People in the crowd had many questions for Dekine. Many members wondered what their physical writing process looked like.

“I don’t tend to type a poem out first,” they said. “There’s something that happens with technology that gets in the way of what I’m trying to do.”

Dekine was more than willing to give any type of advice, including inspiration. “The thing that stuck with me the most is the whole idea of just writing and not filtering your thoughts before writing them down. That is something I struggle with so much,” student Trinity Fisher said.