Kane Smego

Kane Smego – Spoken Word Poet, Hip Hop Artist & Cultural Diplomat

Spoken Word – Conflict Resolution – Community Engagement – Self-Expression


Kane Smego is an international touring spoken word poet and hip hop artist, cultural diplomat, National Poetry Slam finalist, , and the co-founder and former Artistic Director of the award-winning youth arts nonprofit, Sacrificial Poets, based in the Triangle area of North Carolina. He has performed and realized programs all across the U.S. and abroad in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Central America, as well as instructed a college course on Spoken Word and Oral History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In the summer of 2011, Kane helped create and lead the Poetic Portraits of a Revolution (PPR2011) project that traveled to Egypt and Tunisia to collect stories of the popular revolutions, and adapted them to spoken word poems that were broadcasted in an eight-week radio series on the National Public Radio affiliate WUNC. Kane is currently part of Next Level, a Hip Hop cultural diplomacy and education project headed by the U.S. State Department and UNC Chapel Hill which sent him along with a team of artists to run a  program in Zimbabwe in 2015. Kane has toured with the legendary Black Ice from Def Poetry Jam, Award-winning poet Patricia Smith, and has featured on the King Mez debut album, My Everlasting Zeal, alongside such accomplished artists as Lupe Fiasco’s producer, Soundtrakk, and Grammy Award-nominee J. Cole. He was a presenter at the Shriver Report Live hosted by Atlantic Magazine, the keynote speaker for the Global Youth Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. and has given lectures and workshops on leadership, education, arts and social justice, and community engagement at various conferences and universities. Kane is the primary author of the YouTh ink. Curriculum that uses poetry and Hip Hop to help youth and adults tell their own stories, and challenges them to transform themselves and their communities through the use of the spoken and written word.


Finding Your Voice in Leadership: This performance and lecture discusses the role that our identity, experiences, and stories play in developing leadership, building collaborative relationships, and designing creative ways to engage our communities. Kane recounts his own experience as a co-founder and Artistic Director of a youth arts and education nonprofit.

Temples of Lung and Air: Drawing from his one-man theater show, this dynamic performance uses poetry, storytelling, acting, and Hip Hop verse to explore issues of race, whiteness, language, and Hip Hop as a tool for community building. Kane also offers a writing workshop to help students explore their own identities and discuss the complexities of race as a social construct.

Who I Really Am: Spoken Word and Constructing Identity: This performance and lecture examines spoken word poetry and storytelling as tools for expressing and constructing identity, celebrating diversity, and building relationships across lines of difference. As a young person whose own life was changed through his introduction to the art form, Kane discusses the ways in which his work as a youth educator and nonprofit director gives young people the tools to discover and express who they are and who they wish to be.


Kane’s workshop utilize his unique YouTh ink. Curriculum and are designed to lead participants in exploring their identities and life experiences, and in utilizing literary devices to communicate their stories through powerful works of spoken word poetry. Workshops can be customized depending on the experience level or age-group involved, as well as tailored to touch on certain themes or topics of a course or event.

Standard workshops are designed to be accessible to beginner and experienced writers alike. Participants with no experience at all will be taken through a writing process and come out of a workshop with their own original piece of spoken word poetry.

For groups made up entirely of veteran poets and slammers, workshops with more advanced writing prompts and techniques are available, as well as activities to improve their performance and public speaking abilities.



“Kane Smego is truly a poetry mastermind. Not only is he gifted with words but has a way with students! Our students, flock to him and clear their schedules when they hear he is performing. St. Joseph’s College has hosted Kane numerous times and will continue to bring him back.”
Magie Hassanin
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students & Multicultural Student Life
Saint Joseph’s College

“Kane Smego was an exceptional presenter and a highlight of the NASW 2014 National Conference! He was inspiring, powerful, thought-provoking, and passionate, all at the same time.  As the opening presenter, he very effectively set an excellent tone for the entire event that followed.”
Richard E. Loomis
Manager, Conference and Event Planning
National Association of Social Workers

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