What an interesting and fun time I had tonight. I entered a poetry contest called “The Spirit of Canada” at a local venue here in Victoria called The Well. The Well is a unique place. Located downtown, it is part health food store and restaurant, part bookstore, part clothing store, and is also a venue for music and the performing arts. The contest itself was all a bit vague and unstructured – I had been unable to contact Hopeton, the guy behind it all but had left a selection of poems and other info and paid the entrance fee to the lady running the restaurant. So of course there was no record of that, but he didn’t seem to mind, and I gave him my receipt of the transaction. The panel of judges was stellar: Bill Bissett, Linda Rogers, and Janet Rogers. The emcee was Joanne Roberts, host of CBC’s Radio One afternoon show here and the mom of daughters my girls went to school with. Each of the performers were great; singer songwriters, poets, spoken word, writers, and essayists, – it just amazed me the talent that showed up. I ended up being second last in the line up and read my piece Canada Day. As a rookie to these kinds of things I hadn’t quite grasped the concept of it all and had thought I’d be able to read several different poems. Nope, just one. I enjoyed the opportunity, and the thrill of it all. Hanging with the other artists in the not quite green room was special. Bill Bissett’s positive comments meant a lot to me, as did the support I got from everyone else. I didn’t make it through to the semi-finals but it was great fun and I am looking forward to a lot more of this kind of thing. Spoken word rocks.