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Poet, Performer, and Filmmaker Kelly Tsai

Janae Cummings hosts an interview with performance artist Kelly Tsai.

Kelly Tsai wearing loose-fitting velour shirt with horizontal blue and black stripes

Photo: Will Murphy/WFIU

Kelly Tsai

At the poetry slams [in the mid- to late-90s], the real vision was like, it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have, it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve published, it doesn’t matter if you’re like a big fancy whatever—what matters is just like what you have to bring to the mic tonight.

Kelly Tsai is a writer, performer, and filmmaker who aims to use the arts to effect social change on issues such as cultural identity, feminism, immigration reform, and voter enfranchisement.

Her work as a performance poet has been featured at over 700 venues worldwide including the White House, Lincoln Center, and the Apollo Theater.

Tsai was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the American Association for University Women and one of NBC’s News’ Asian American Poets to Watch.

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