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more personal experience in the latter. And the two converged when she volunteered at a women’s prison in New York City while at Sarah Lawrence. Kendra says that the solidarity among the women was inexorable, and after only a day, she remembers feeling it herself. Spend any time with this girl, and I swear she’ll absorb the run-off emotion from your skin. During her MFA program, when she wasn’t editing poetry for the Nashville Review, Kendra wrote poems about sexual trauma. These “poems of witness” don’t mirror her own experiences, and at the time she often wondered if she was perpetuating violence with them. She inevitably decided that she has a social duty to write about uncomfortable realities. She’s out of her comfort zone writing about sexual trauma, but she’s also on to something. The effect of her words isn’t limited to herself, so her words aren’t limited to her own experience or identity. Like her sensitivity to injustice as a child, her overwhelming poetic impulse toward issues like these are motivated by a courage to empathize, rather than a need for catharsis. In empathizing with others’ dark spots, Kendra tries to give hope to those that have gone through what she illustrates. “Hope is in the brokenness,” she explains. “It isn’t in looking away,

"HOPE IS IN THE BROKENNESS."

KENDRA DECOLO: Follow Kendra on Twitter @KendraDeColo

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Native | March 2013 | Nashville, TN  

The Green Issue featuring Nashville's Roderick Bailey (Silly Goose), Modern Arks, Kendra DeColo, Hanzelle, 8th & Roast, Ride for Reading, Ha...

Native | March 2013 | Nashville, TN  

The Green Issue featuring Nashville's Roderick Bailey (Silly Goose), Modern Arks, Kendra DeColo, Hanzelle, 8th & Roast, Ride for Reading, Ha...