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February 8, 2024 6:00–8:00 pm
Rubenstein Arts Center, Lounge
Music & Audio

Using Poetry to Understand the Spirituality of Whistling

Taught by Taku Chikepe

About the Workshop

Creative Writing
“Using Poetry to Understand the Spirituality of Whistling”
Taught by Takudzwa Chikepe

In this workshop, “Using Poetry to Understand the Spirituality of Whistling”, participants will embark on a unique journey to interpret the meaning of whistling and explore various types of whistles. The advantages of whistling include being easily understood by animals, especially birds, dogs, and sheep, physical relaxation, creating coded communication, enhancing focus and concentration, social connection, cognitive coordination for brain health, conveying emotions, mood enhancement, improved breathing, and stress reduction. Disadvantages may include varying social perceptions, inappropriate timing, cultural sensitivity, noise disturbance, and misinterpretation.

Poetry is revealed, as we navigate the space between the advantages and disadvantages of whistles and whistling; spirituality emerges as we contemplate on matters dearest to our hearts while crafting whistling-inspired poetry. Why were people created with the ability to whistle? One might say, “The ability to whistle is often associated with joy, playfulness, and a carefree spirit. It could be considered a simple pleasure that adds to the overall experience of life, reflecting the Creator’s intention for humans to find joy in their existence”.

Participants will have the opportunity to whistle, listen to selected music inspired by whistling, craft short poems from these songs; write poetry stemming from the whole experience, introspect and meditate, and contemplate the various spiritual dimensions this session may evoke. It is like finding a needle in the sand. This marks the second workshop aiming to inspire participants to discover poetry in music, musical elements, and all aspects of life-activating our spiritual, poetic, and creative selves beyond the borders and boundaries of our fears. Join us, also in the spirit and wisdom of Henry David Thoreau, who said, “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times and to the latest.”

*This will be a community workshop open to all. Non-Duke users, please email to reserve a place in the class.

About the Instructor

VaChikepe: The Poet ©
Takudzwa Chikepe (Taku), famously known as VaChikepe: The Poet, is one of the best writing poets from Zimbabwe. A two-time featured poet at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival. In 2021, he won The International Reggae And World Music Award (IRAWMA): Best Poet in the Mutabaruka Category (the first African to win this Award) amongst other awards. VaChikepe is also the founder of VaChikepe And The Hundred Sailors (VHS), and the publisher of “The Sailors Review” newsletter/journal:

The VHS operates in the vision of grooming more than 500 artists in becoming world leaders, in the poetry, publishing, art and different spheres of life. VaChikepe is currently studying for his Master of Divinity at Duke University in North Carolina. VaChikepe: The Poet believes that poetry is a calling; he uses different states of mind, music, and spirituality to define and express poetry; and he also believes that “Art is not just a subject, but a financial therapy that can heal nations.”

VaChikepe is a recording artist with more than 50 songs and musical poems published underground and more than 15 songs officially published on all music platforms from 2021 to date. Attached are some of VaChikepe’s works of Art: Enjoy:

1. VaChikepe’s Music:

2.The Sailors Review:

3. The Life of a Poet: Part 1:

4. The Life of a Poet: Part 2:

5. Other Publications:

About the Location

This workshop will meet in the Lounge at the Rubenstein Arts Center.

Address: 2020 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27701

About Duke Arts Create

Duke Arts Create is a series of free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help all Duke students, including graduate and professional students (including Duke Health), as well as Duke faculty and staff develop a variety of creative skills in the visual arts, dance and movement, creative writing and more. Workshops are open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Most workshops are held in the Duke Arts Annex, the Rubenstein Arts Center or the Duke Arts Office 2101 and are typically held weeknights from 6-8 p.m.

Registration for the following week’s workshops go live on Friday mornings at 9 a.m. – sign up in advance to guarantee your spot. Didn’t get a spot? No problem! We always reserve space for walk-ins. Email if you have any questions. Sign up for the monthly newsletter here, which includes the full list of classes offered during the following month.

Duke Arts Create is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts (Duke Arts).