The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word starts today! This means there are a large number of spoken word artists from all over the country roaming the streets: keep an eye out.
Although it sort of feels like the prelude was last night - I was at Voices of Venus last night for a show featuring the Lanark County Slam Team (the only all-female slam team ever, and the only rural slam team.) The team also features the youngest ever national competitor - Satinka Schilling - and the oldest, Inez Dekker. Toward the end of their set, the doors of Umi Cafe opened up and a bunch of local members of the Capital Poetry Collective came in, followed by a handful of visiting poets, fresh from a welcome dinner over at the East African Restaurant. And things started to feel kind of Festival-ish.
I thought the Lanark County team seemed shaky, to be totally honest - with the exception of a couple of really good pieces by Emily Kwissa - who has been belying her age for a couple of years now, and who writes subtle, strong, cohesive stuff, and then performs it well - and Britt Pruden-Faraday, particularly an imaginative and funny and thoughtful piece about her emo bobblehead alter ego. Both are strong performers even when they read off the page, which is a help. I'll be interested to see what they bring to the competitions.
I think the next thing I'll be able to get to is the Nerd Showcase (technically the Steve Sauvé Memorial Nerd Showcase - and incidentally, today is Steve's birthday: kind of fitting, isn't it?) on Thursday at 4:00: I've promised to bring my Dungeons & Dragons & DC Heroes poem, and might also drop my steampunk poem about a young lady scientist who's building a doomsday machine in her fiancé's attic. Now you know you want to come, right? The Nerd Showcase will be featuring Nadine Thornhill (the Adorkable Thespian) and Bart Cormier, with plenty of open mike for anyone who considers themselves to have written a nerd poem. Poems on anything from astrophysics to Zot! are welcome.