Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey Peforms Spoken Word Poetry for Students


Henry Mildenstein

Caleby Rainey peforms one of his poems for City High School students.

Henry Mildenstein, News Editor

As Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey began his performance, he immediately engaged City High School Students with several spoken word poems about race, love, and depression. Rainey also discussed his experiences growing up black in the Midwest through his poetry.

Rainey, who performed for the first time when he was sixteen, felt like poetry was a way for him to be heard.

 “I originally performed at a poetry slam at in high school to impress a girl, after the first time I performed I realized how I heard I felt when I was on the stage; that wasn’t something I had a lot in school. I felt like I got to take the stage and everyone listened to me,” Rainey said.

In addition to performing poetry, Rainey strives to create communities for poetry. In addition to creating a literary magazine in college, Rainey is partnering up with the Iowa Youth Writing project to create a spoken word club called IC Speaks. The goal of the club is to give people a space to perform poetry that he didn’t have in high school. 

Currently Rainey is balancing the book tour of his new book, “Look, Black Boy,” and helping other people write. 

“I feel the most inspired when I’m helping other people write, so if I want to keep doing my own work I need to keep giving to other writers,” Rainey said.

Elliott Beauchamp ‘20 signed up to join IC Speaks after he heard about the club. 

“I do a lot of writing but I don’t really have an outlet to express it. I think [IC Speaks] is going to give me a good place to write and find inspiration,” Beauchamp said.