FOCUS poetry reading

Kibra VanHorn, center, reads her poem “BBW,” during a poetry reading hosted by the FOCUS Network. Photos by Tony Wittkowski / HP staff.

With phone in hand, Kibra VanHorn stood in front of friends and strangers and read a poem about purpose and empowerment.

VanHorn, a personal trainer and local poet, was among a dozen people to meet for a poetry reading at 221 Main Restaurant & Cocktail House in St. Joseph. The reading was started by the FOCUS Network – a Whirlpool Corp. employee resource group.

VanHorn, who said she tends to write religious poems, chose a poem called “BBW” to kick off the night. The poem’s acronym stood for “Black, Beautiful, Wild.”

“This is a good month for me to express my love of being black and being proud of it,” she said. “(Writing) is therapeutic. It helps me heal from past injuries. It helps me to motivate people, which I love to do as a trainer.”

Other than the poetry reading, FOCUS has found several ways to celebrate Black History Month throughout February.

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