Archive | February 2012

VERSeFest Kicks off Tonight! :-D

Okay, everybody. I know this is old news, but I’ve got to say it again.
VERSeFest kicks off TONIGHT!

Come down to Arts Court at 7pm (or, ideally, a little earlier to make sure you get a ticket and a seat) for a sure-to-be-glorious performance by Shauntay Grant and Afua Cooper plus Suzanne Buffam, Dennis Lee, and Paul Tyler.

Wednesday is the In/Words Magazine launch preceeded, of course, by VoV’s Women Rock the Mic show featuring our four women’s slam champions:

Come see D-LightFull, Festrell, Elle P, and Sepideh rock the mic at VoV's VERSeFest showcase, this Wednesday Feb. 29th!

… Which, obviously, I urge you to attend. 😀

Thursday, you can catch VoV’s recent alumna Abby Paige, as well as Roo Borson, Fred Wah, C.R. Avery, and youth slam champions Ottawa Fountain.

Friday brings you Pearl Pirie, Susan McMaster, Bruce Taylor, and a taste of the Urban Legends slam.

Saturday offers a duo of free workshops provided by Ian Keteku and VoV alumna Danielle K. L. Gregoire; plus a slew of performances including those by Rae Armantrout, Taqralik Partridge, and Ursula Rucker. PLUS there’s a after-party at the Mercury Lounge, for those who just can’t get enough of the people and the poetry.

Sunday ends things with a writing workshop by Ursula Rucker; performances by Paige Ackerson-Kiely and Barry McKinnon; as well as The Summit Reading at the NAC, which includes Governor General’s Award-winner Phil Hall; U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine; and Mexico’s esteemed poet Pura López-Colomé.

$10 gets you a daypass (which, typically, covers two shows), although the Summit Reading and Ursual Rucker’s show are both a little bit extra. You can pre-pay for tickets online at the VERSeFest website (print your paypal receipt, as they’ll want to see proof-of-purchase before giving you your ticket at the box-office), or just buy them direct from Arts Court the night-of (in which case, get there early).

Looking forward to seeing you all! 😀

TTFN,
A. 😀

Advertisements

Women Rock the Mic – Sepideh

So, next week kicks off VERSeFest, and VoV will be hosting “Women Rock the Mic”, a show featuring the four winners of the Ottawa Women’s Slam Championship.

With that in mind, I thought I’d spend some time introducing our four performers.

Last up in our parade of Champions is spirited and soulful Sepideh.

Sepideh

Sepideh is a 21 year-old spoken word artist, born in the city of Tehran and raised in the suburbs of Toronto. She is an avid traveler and can often be found writing about her experiences in the bustling stalls of the Bangladesh Market in Durban or the standstill traffic of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her poetry is decidedly personal, focuses on rich imagery and ranges from the lyrical to the critical. A believer of the diversity of voices that can and do exist in spoken word, Sepideh’s writing frequently touches on the themes of gender, identity, history, and nature. Much of her work emerged from the solitude of the tiny apartment she rented one summer in Paris. Sepideh was one of three poets selected for a special performance at the finals night of the 2010 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. When she’s not writing or performing poetry she can be found somewhere in a quiet corner reading Rumi or attempting to tune all 72 strings of her instrument, the santour.

Pearl Pirie says: You don’t want to miss, if you can help it, the story of returning to her grandfather’s hometown, imagining what it must have been like for her Afghani grandmother “where she never wakes up to the stigma of where comes from…there is a place…hundreds of pistachios open their mouths to tell us…” Tell us what? Come on the 29th.

You can see one of her performances here, and find out more about Sepideh here.

As Pearl suggests, see you at VERSeFest on February 29th,
A.

Women Rock the Mic – D-LightFull

So, next week kicks off VERSeFest, and VoV will be hosting “Women Rock the Mic”, a show featuring the four winners of the Ottawa Women’s Slam Championship.

With that in mind, I thought I’d spend some time introducing our four performers.

Next up, we have VoV Alumna D-Lightful, who has been described as having the kind of spunk “that makes the audience hoot and clap thru it”.

D-Lightful on stage

Magdala “D-LightFull” Joseph is a Christian poet who started her career at the tender age of 10, with basic love poems, transitioning to rap three years later and finally stumbling upon spoken word at the age of 19. She debuted her slamming in Ottawa in September of 2009.
Her work is inspired by the many relationships she’s had whether it be spiritual, emotional, racial or political. Though some may only know her as the “love poet”, D-LightFull talks much about racism and spiritual struggling. She will not shy away from politics as well, whenever necessary.

You can view one of her performances here.

See you at VERSeFest on February 29th,
A.

Women Rock the Mic – Festrell

So, next week kicks off VERSeFest, and VoV will be hosting “Women Rock the Mic”, a show featuring the four winners of the Ottawa Women’s Slam Championship.

With that in mind, I thought I’d spend some time introducing our four performers.

Second up is someone you all know, a veteran performer in the Ottawa slam scene and the Awkward-Charming and ever-enthusiastic host of Voices of Venus, Festrell is familiar to all.

Festrell on stage at the Women's Slam (photo by, I think, Pearl Pirie)

Festrell is a spoken word artist, freelance writer, and community organizer whose work has been described as both hilarious and moving. They’re passionate about social justice, dancing, nerdcore, books, and kittens.

Pearl Pirie relates: Festrell always gives a powerhouse reading. […] The floors were shaking with people stomping responses to her poems and the poem made my hair stand on end.

You can view some of Festrell’s performances here, here, and here.

Hey, Auntie Uncle Faye… Can you beatbox like C.R. Avery?

See you at VERSeFest on February 29th,
A.

Women Rock the Mic – Elle P.

So, next week kicks off VERSeFest, and VoV will be hosting “Women Rock the Mic”, a show featuring the four winners of the Ottawa Women’s Slam Championship.

With that in mind, I thought I’d spend some time introducing our four performers.

First up is Elle P.

Elle P. on stage

Elle P has been described as “a local emcee that and flip between hip hop and poetry like a gymnast”, and as a poet who commands attention with her presence even when speaking quietly.

She says: A fulfilling life demands constant attention to our goals. The search for truth and clarity is part of our human experience. I want to share my experiences and insights in this journey of discovery through the medium of the spoken word.

You can check out a few of her performances here, here, and here.

See you at VERSeFest on February 29th,
A.

Fly-By Update – Who do YOU want to see at VoV?

Spent the afternoon at the Dusty Owl fundraiser for the Black Youth Congress, which featured Joanne John, Jacqueline Lawrence, and John Akpata.
It was, not surprisingly, awesomesauce.

Currently, we’re gearing up for both Grant Application Season AND VERSeFest, so things are busy around here. We’re in the process of booking the Feature Performers for our 2012-2013 season, so if there are any particular storytelling or poetry-spouting women you’d like to see on our stage, drop us a comment and we’ll see what we can do.

For now, stay tuned for information on our performers for “Women Rock the Mic”, the VoV-presented show at VERSeFest which will feature the four top poets from the Women’s Slam Championship.

Also, if you’re a story-lover, or a queer chicky, you’ll want to turn up for VoV’s March show, featuring Jan Andrews performing her story-cycle “Who Want the Dress” about coming out as a Butch.

Exciting times!

See you soon,
A. 🙂