Faces: Sean Hickem

Thursday, December 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:57 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

For the past five years, “Brown Recluse” has roamed Stephens College disguised as warehouse operator Sean Hickem.

When he is not making sure classrooms are fully stocked with supplies, the Columbia native writes poetry or is onstage, rapping under the alias Brown Recluse.

“I chose the name because my rhymes are as powerful as any poison and because you may see me one minute, then the next, I’m out of mind and out of sight,” Hickem said.

Last year, in addition to poet and rapper, Hickem added model to his list of extracurricular activities, when he modeled in a Stephens College student fashion show.

Hickem said it was one of his best memories at Stephens because he met people that helped him start a program to get young people more interested in the arts.

“I’ve reached that point in my life where I can no longer be satisfied with just work,” Hickem said. “I need another way to release energy; rapping and writing give me that release.”

In collaboration with the public library and Infopower International, Hickem started Sharing the Experience of Poetry, a program that plans to get young people to open up to the arts. Now in its late planning stages, the program should have its first events at Columbia Public Library in December.

“We want kids, especially males, to be more comfortable expressing themselves through poetry, collages, journaling and all types of art,” Hickem said.

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