2013 festival welcomes National Poetry Month

As April welcomes Canada’s National Poetry Month, so does the Calgary Spoken Word Festival.

Festivities kicked off April 6 and will continue until April 29, showcasing the many different elements of spoken word and storytelling.

Spoken word is the expression of thoughts using words, sound and rhythm.

Local poet Ali Abubaker says poetry should always be read aloud.

Poets gather at Festival Hall for the book launch of The Great Black North Anthology. Kevan Anthony Cameron, also known as “Scruffmouth,” is a spoken-word poet and co-editor of the book.

Photo by Izzy Ahmed“Rather than just reading it, poetry should be heard and seen because the voice can make words much more moving,” he says.

This year’s festival will consist of 40 different events, offering a mix of workshops, poetry readings, book launches and more.

Festival producer Sheri-D Wilson says, “We’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary, so this festival is going to be very special.”

“Sharing poetry means people are transforming, learning and understanding new things,” Wilson says.

The festival will come to an end with a slam — literally.

The closing night of the festival will be held at Whine-Ohs, where poets will be competing to determine the 2013 Calgary Slam Team.

This year, a few venue changes can also be expected due to the recent eviction of The Auburn, a venue that has supported Calgary’s arts community for many years.

Poet Kirk Miles received the Golden Beret Award during the opening night of last year’s festival, which was held at The Auburn.

This year, Calgary’s Festival Hall will be hosting many of the events instead.

“It’s sad because Calgary’s spoken-word community really supported that place, so it’s a bit of a loss and a bit of a change,” Miles says. “A venue is just a venue, but the people you bring to it and the excitement that you create with this sort of community and festival is what’s important.”

Festival passes are being sold at $80, granting access to all events.

aahmed@cjournal.ca