The expression of something changing our lives may sound like a cliché but if you keep reading you can see how poetry changed my life.
It really changed my life.
Cat leads small art based groups. I joined her group called “The Poet’s Words”. This is the second year I was involved in “The Poet’s Words” and through it I really found my voice. When I did, as Cat said, I started to speak in exclamations. Not to be loud, but because of the excitement I feel in everything I do with having a voice.
I started hosting monthly open mic poetry on July 27th, 2018 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge and in 8 months we had about 74 poets read their poems. The diversity of poets and topics are amazing and move me beyond words. I am very touched by the power of poetry every month. We had the pleasure to hear new, experienced poets and everything between the two ends of the spectrum. We had a sixteen year old girl with the mind and heart of a sage read, we had a gentleman in his eighties, who never spoke into a microphone all his live. The night he did, he had us moved to tears as he spoke of his departed wife, whom he loved dearly. We heard a young man who calls himself a brown, queer poet talk about the challenges he faced, and the men and women who are searching for meaning in every day life.
My goal was to share our poems with the public, make the event all inclusive and to give other people a voice. I can say that I achieved all those goals and then some. We honour, support and celebrate each other. We understand the courage it takes to be up on that stage. I hope that this support continues and that we never exclude anyone. Being excluded is the worst kind of discrimination.
We are now in the process of publishing an anthology of poems and many local business owners and people are supporting us with their donations. The donations lower the costs for participants and we are hoping that more people will participate. My dream is to mark the first anniversary of our open mic with the published book this July.
Ryan Cradduck from Shaw Spotlight records, broadcasts and posts our open mic event monthly. It is wonderful to have it recorded.
I would like to take the opportunity to give my heart felt thanks to everyone for their support: Steve Foord and staff at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Ryan Cradduck at Shaw Spotlight, our sponsors, Nada Van Gaal at the Yellow Door, Kevin Dixon at Logic Lumber, Jessie Parmar at Jess FM – Jess TV, Mike Spencer at the Geomatic Attic, our wonderful talented poets, our Shaw Spotlight audiences and my dear friend, who started it all, Cat Charissage.
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