Katie is an amazing spoken word poet! She is a bold soul, activist, but most importantly an unapologetic feminist. I filmed Katie speaking her poem entitled “War at Home.” Additionally I interviewed her to get a sense of who she is and what inspires her active words. Thank you, Katie for working with me. It is a joy to see people like you who are passionate about not just speaking about change, but actively seeking it.
Would you define yourself as a feminist and why?
Of course! Being a feminist means many different things to different people, but in my opinion it is all about supporting equality and if you don’t support equality then you suck and we can’t be friends.
When did you start writing poetry?
I have loved writing since I was a kid and I have written poetry since I knew what it was, however I didn’t begin writing spoken-word poetry until I discovered the amazing poetry community when I started attending Appalachian State University in 2014.
What inspires you to write?
The biggest inspiration I have ever found is other writers. Every time I go to a poetry reading of some kind, whether it be an open-mic or a slam competition or whatnot, I leave feeling like I am overflowing with words and ideas. I inevitably *have* to write afterwards.
What scares you most about society?
I have major concerns about the movement of the political climate in the United States; particularly regarding the up-swelling of support for figures who are implicitly or explicitly encouraging violence and discrimination against subjugated groups such as women, people of color, and the LGBT community. The fact that these people have such a dense following of supporters, to me, is reason for fear about the future of our nation.
Who is an inspiring feminist figure that you look up to?
I am really obsessed with anyone from the Riot Grrrl punk movement. I have always admired Kathleen Hanna who is generally credited with beginning the movement in the early 90s. I love what she has to say because she speaks to the experience of living through girlhood much in the same way that I perceive it. She is smart, talented, and fearless. I want to be as badass as she is. She also inspired people like Carrie Brownstein (from the show Portlandia), who emerged in the Riot Grrrl scene with her band, Sleater-Kinney, to join the movement. I love her because she lives her life with a kind of fumbling-grace that is really special; she is funny, authentic, and proves that a woman can be a famous television personality without having to sexualize herself or being exploited. Also everyone should read her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. It brought tears to my eyes.
How do you go about being an active feminist?
To be an active feminist I try as much as a I can to place myself in the feminist community. By attending protests, making feminist art, submitting my writing to zines and other publications, and by attending clubs like LIPS of AppSate or SAGE of NC State I can find an important place amongst the people. I believe the most important thing, however, is educating people by giving them the tools to educate themselves. Spouting off about my political views doesn’t usually help anyone to understand what I am trying to convey about feminism and equal rights, but asking a question or putting a situation into context for someone can really help them develop an informed opinion. I encourage everyone to actively advocate for what they find important in society.