Reading in Public

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.



Filed under Passing Thoughts

2 responses to “Reading in Public

  1. Lisa

    David: happy to see you have taken your words from paper (or blog!) to the arena of the spoken word! Hope you keep moving in this direction. It can be alot of fun! Remember David Watmough? Dad had one of his records. In ’73 or ’74, I heard David W reciting his work from either “Ashes for Easter” or “From a Cornish Landscape” at the old City Stage when it was still on Granville Street. He sat on the stage with a music stand for his papers. It was the first time I heard a solo reading and was captivated. It was at that moment that I realized that words could be music. And one can even use a music stand if you want to!

    • I knew that Victoria had a thriving poetry scene before jumping into it but I have to say that I am very impressed with quality of the poetry around town, the numbers of enthusiastic poets and fans and also the performances. Professionals and folks who are really into Spoken Word recite their work by heart and with a great sense of style and stage presence. So far I still read and use whatever lectern or stand is available. But I readily admit that I need to work on my delivery, amongst a lot of things!

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