What’s New?

Here’s a brief recap of some recent projects. It’s been such a pleasure to take part in some of the most meaningful work of my career to date!

First, as a continuation from the previous blog post:

The Holiday Alley Poetry Slam was a success! After a 2-week residency at East Selkirk Middle School (sponsored by the Manitoba Arts Council’s Artists in the Schools program) a few students joined me to help spoken word make a splash in Selkirk!

The Holiday Alley film crew put together this video highlighting some of the great work the youth performed on stage.

So much has come from this residency, including Jules Stevenson, who has joined me in Creative Manitoba’s Rural Mentorship Program. She was instrumental in bringing spoken word to Selkirk via Holiday Alley, as you will see on our appearance on Global TV Morning News. I’m helping her to build a spoken word community in Selkirk where writers of all ages can have the transformative experience of sharing their truth on stage. The first ever Selkirk Poetry Slam hit the ground running in late February! The next edition is coming up soon….

Also hearkening back to a previous post, the youth poets who took part in the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation’s Voices For Change project did an absolutely fantastic job with their piece, “What We Teach”! The live performance was stunning, and the video recording of the poem  garnered lots of positive attention across the country during International Development Week!

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The wonderful poets Jay, Urooba and Sophia each represented themselves well on stage, in video, as well as in the media!

Beginning in January 2019, THIN AIR: The Winnipeg International Writers Festival took over duties in running Winnipeg’s longest-running poetry reading series, Speaking Crow. Stepping into the role of host/admin, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing new work by many local poets of all experience levels. ‘Crow’ is where the poetry community gets to see and hear itself, and in the early stages of my career, it was instrumental in me building the confidence to share my work.

The next session of Speaking Crow takes place Tuesday April 2nd, with featured reader Lauren Carter!

Also coming up very soon is a First Fridays event that I am very excited about!

This one definitely feels like a culmination of my years working with youth, as I’ll be hosting a showcase of poetry and spoken word featuring current and past members of Creative Manitoba’s mentorship programs.

I can’t wait for the audience to see what these youth can do!

Finally, I’ve been honoured to be involved with Poetry in Voice, a charitable organization that encourages Canadian students to fall in love with poetry. I’m lucky to have been included in their Poet Network, where teachers have sought me out to visit their school and build spoken word skills.

They come in handy, especially with regards to PiV’s recitation competitions taking place in high schools all across Canada. In March, I was on a panel of judges that selected Kildonan East Collegiate to qualify for nationals, this year taking place right here in Winnipeg!

Coming up in April at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, students from across the country will be gathering to represent their choice poems, mind, body and soul!

Whew!

Time for a bit of a break to work on some projects…but so many thanks go out to the organizations and individuals I’ve worked with, and who have given me the opportunity for so much growth!

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