about the poet
Kenneth Woods, AKA “KennyFresh,” is a spoken word artist, writer, poet, and published author. He has performed in the Midwest as well as in various states throughout the U.S. His well traveled experience as a child, Hawaii born with naval parents, influenced his ability to adapt, refocus, and reconnect. Ironically, that is what his writing service and performance art company, Refresherpoint, is all about… refreshing perspectives through the power of words, language, and art.
His spoken word has traveled also, and has been featured at an international conference in Athens, Greece. You may have experienced his poetry on the radio, through televised collaborative performances, or in person at a range of award-winning venues, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.
As an Indiana University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in biology and an Associate degree in chemistry, his love for science and poetry provides a distinct performance-art experience. His prose is a compilation of humor and satire intertwined with faith in humanity’s potential and most esteemed, his Creator.
As an African American author, his works are influenced by his experiences and explores themes of: mental health, belonging, intercultural identity, place, and human connection. He has been given immense opportunities to impart his spoken word poetry, community engagement, and writing services to intimate crowds of 10’s to auditoriums of over 3,000.
spoken word audio
Kenneth loves to perform on stage and translates his voice onto the page for diverse readers to enjoy. Since releasing his debut poetry chapbook, Equilibrium (IngramSpark, 2020) select poems, “Meticulous,” “How Are You Really?,” and “Art Makes Home,” have been accepted into the Indiana State Library’s digital poetry archive, InVerse, created by former poet laureate, Adrian Matejka, with support from the Indiana State Library and the Indiana Arts Commission.
This chapbook has currently been shared across one-third of the United States among patrons and is housed in several libraries. In addition to public library collections, his works are available at Waldo Library at Western Michigan University and the University of Arizona Poetry Center.
In addition to Kenneth's authorship and spoken word, he currently is developing curricula for a collegiate poet-in-residence. He brings poetry to academic institutions, including one of the top U.S. ranked colleges and Kentucky's number one "gem", Centre College. His abilities to teach and ignite an appreciation for poetry among K-12 learners is exhibited through Fresh Learning, his poetry-in-class integrations program. This impact program supports schools, non-profits and places of learning, and has reached over 500 students within its first year. Additionally, he has taught poetry writing workshops at Carnegie Center For Literacy.
He has been a resident of Southern Indiana since 2006 and previously was a resident of Florida, Texas, California, and Hawaii. Kenneth carries Oʻahu with him but his heart has grown Hoosier roots for over a decade. His words in return speak to locals, immigrants, refugees, travelers, particularly military families, and transplanted citizens that found their way to America's Crossroads to discover more.
He resides with his family and pet tarantula, with his second introspective chapbook, Stumble, underway.
Kenneth is a member of the Academy of American Poets, and is an Indiana Humanities - Indiana Authors Awards 2023-2024 Writers Workshop Bureau author. He currently serves on the Indiana Arts Commission's Strategic Framework Advisory Committee (SFAC) and served as a 2022 Indiana Arts Commission Poetry Out Loud judge. Kenneth is honored to be a 2023 Indiana Poet Laureate Nominee. Through his ongoing dedication towards community building, he is a 2022 recipient of a community-impact Global Entrepreneurship Network Grant, and continues to anchor his literary journey in refreshing intergenerational cohorts one poem at a time.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"Your performance at of The Invisible Tour captured the spirit of our mission and principles. Your performance was insightful and inspiring.
I encourage you keep sharing your amazing talent and artistry. Along with Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival, we are planning a more impactful experience for next year. We would love to have you return and be part of the festivities."
-Christopher Miller, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center