Creative genius Sunni Patterson came up from her hometown of New Orleans and stopped into Nashville Public Library’s Civil Rights Room on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Sunni is renowned nationwide for her music and spoken word poetry, which is famous for centering on social and cultural issues.

From 5:00 until around 7:30 p.m., Sunni spoke at the round table in the Civil Rights Room to a group of about 40 people from a plethora of different backgrounds, ages, genders, races, and talent levels. The setting was intimate and the workshop was interactive.

Instead of pulling out pens and paper, Sunni focused mainly on the grassroots of creativity by cultivating an atmosphere of vulnerability and freedom of expression in an effort to encourage attendees to connect with themselves on a deeper level before even coming to the writing process.

In a world that is constantly telling us to “get out of our feelings,” Sunni maintained that in order to create art and literature that makes a difference, we have no choice but to dig deeply into our feelings.

For one of the hands-on exercises, Sunni had everyone pair up and speak to their own reflections in the eyes of their partners. “Truly seeing yourself in another” will, by default, alter the way you treat that “other.”

The images below capture the event.

“The way we write and perform would be so different if we really believed we had a response-ability to take spiritual and social stances with the words we put out.”

-Sunni Patterson