We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim B Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My favorite affirmation is actually a (non-traditional) haiku that I wrote:
It’s okay to be
scared, do it anyway. Scared
people succeed too.
What I love about this poem is how it is a reminder that a lack of fear is not the key to success. Success is based on perseverance. It is a by-product of effort. It is obtainable. Success will not elude me or you if we’re scared. This haiku removes excuses. It helps me face my self-inflicted delays. It’s a reminder to just take a chance.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a spoken word poet, facilitator and a motivational speaker. I’m the Poet Laureate for Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. I’m the First African American Poet Laureate for PWC, Virginia.
My words are bold and I’m unapologetically blunt. I’m loud and quiet at the same time.
I love writing nontraditional haiku and it has become one of the things I am known for. I take 17 syllables and make encompassing thoughts. I can touch people with words. It was not easy but I became fluent in writing these gems. I looked up the traditional format and learned about senryu (nontraditional haiku). I wanted to write profound senryu. So I took time to develop what I called strategies to making a haiku. I used familiar songs and I made sure I wasn’t just writing to write. They had to have a discernible point. They have to “step on toes”, inspire or enlighten someone. They are also very effective in nontraditional poetry environments and in speeches.
I learned that even though they were hard to write at first, my writing skills expanded because I was willing to put some effort into learning and writing a new way. The thing that I thought was limiting me (17 syllables) was actually teaching me how to make quick, concise points. I also teach kids and adults on the art of writing haiku.
I’m a native New Yorker who lived in the projects (public housing) in Brooklyn. We later moved to Long Island. I was not a great speller and English was not my favorite subject. If you had told me I was going to be a poet I would have laughed. I learned to never judge my future potential based on my present circumstances. I can evolve.
I write to touch people. “I feed people who didn’t even know they were hungry”. My words are transformational. I perform bold spoken word poetry online and in person for: schools, churches, organizations and libraries. I also perform at events and festivals.
My brand has expanded to include my words, phrases and poetry on so many products. When you take my words with you, the inspirations and realizations don’t end. I have an online store and I add products often.
I’m a motivational speaker. I use my words to connect people to their strength. I make empowerment touchable.
I’m also a facilitator. I create and develop my own training material. My interactive workshops are fun and informative.
I stay busy, lol.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely take them to Jirani Coffeehouse in Manassas, VA. The tea and deserts are my favorite items. The atmosphere is so inviting. We could sit and talk and depending on the schedule we could watch the trains go by. We could even sign up to get on an open mic or just watch the event. Jirani has so many great events that focus on the community and local artists of all genres. Ken, the owner is super friendly.
I would take my BFF to Wegman’s in Woodbridge so she could see this massive, well organized supermarket that has so many great unique items.
I would take her to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC. I have not been able to get there yet but I heard it was huge and awe inspiring. It’s so big it would probably take two trips to see everything.
Since we’re in DC we have to stop at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. They have diverse, entertaining events and a yearly event called the Atlas Intersections Festival and it is so well done. I’ve done a few performances there and everyone is so helpful and patient.
For lunch, we would have to go to Potomac Mills and stop by Bahama Breeze. The food is so delicious and the outdoor seating is not cramp. It is spacious. We could sit outside and enjoy the breeze and excellent service.
For breakfast, lunch or dinner, I would take her to the Silver Diner in Dale City, VA. The diner has an old fashioned design but it has a state of the art air purification system. They have gluten free, vegetarian, plant based/vegan selections along with their other vast menu choices. The milkshakes are fantastic. I love too many things on their menu to pick just one.
For fun, we could stop by and race cars at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway at Manassas Mall. Racing around the track is so much fun. Once you get that helmet on you feel like a real race car driver.
For more fun, we could go to Creative Suitland in Suitland, Maryland. Malachi Robinson and C. Thomas are two hard working people. They have so many artistic events. We could go almost every day and enjoy something exciting like: singing, yoga, poetry, painting, produce and poetry…
We would definitely stop and get a smoothie at Trinitie Nutrition Loft in Dumfries, VA. Their smoothies are so good. I know we would be there often.
Tacos Moya in Woodbridge, VA would absolutely be a great place for lunch or dinner. The menu has so many choices and the food is so flavorful. We would have to come at least twice.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out Spirits and Lyrics. This organization is led by Jeff Johnson. I initially went to their open mic several years ago. The amount of love and encouragement I received there was unforgettable. They spoke to me about possibilities and they saw greatness in me. To Jeff, Lucky, Pierre, Asha, Cel and Renee, I thank you all. Your love and kindness have not been overlooked.
Katherine Costello Photography