Wednesday, March 16, 2011

VERSeFest Taught Me

I'll be on CKCU's Literary Landscape tomorrow 6:30-7:00, 93.1 FM) talking about the repercussions and impact of VERSeFest with Jessica Ruano (and possibly other poetry people).

I'll also have a blog post up soon about VERSeFest on Local Tourist Ottawa, which I'm right now composing, and struggling not to drag the possibly-not-yet-embroiled LTO readership into the heated, sometimes vitriolic 'page/stage' debate. But still wanting to give them some sense of why that debate exists, why it matters, and why what VERSeFest did, in bringing together a very diverse group of poetry organizations, was not only important, but got a few people all verklempt at the closing party.

I think it was really important to have a space where people got to hear what was going on at other reading series and among other groups in town. It was very, very cool to hear the spoken word audiences snapping their fingers for the page poets, and the page poets responding to the spoken word. And for me, it was particularly interesting to be there for back-to-back shows and to hear - along with the differences between styles - what was similar.

At the moment, I'm running a quick Twitter campaign - using the hashtag #VERSeFestTaughtMe, I'm hoping to garner some responses on what people learned from this opportunity to be exposed to other people who might be practicing poetry differently from them. Just sent out another call - I'll read whatever I get back out on-air tomorrow.

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