Tag Archive | storytelling

Voices of Venus 4th Birthday Party and Grand Finale ft Klayani Pandya and Pearl Pirie

Hello everybody!

This Wednesday, May 8th, marks VoV’s 4th birthday and will also wrap up four years of monthly shows.

Come for the Open Mic Stay for the Features And Also the Cupcakes

Come for the Open Mic
Stay for the Features
And Also the Cupcakes

Join us for birthday cupcakes, bring your own stories and poems to our all-women open mic, and enjoy feature performances by poetry scene veteran Pearl Pirie and up-and-coming story-teller Kalyani Pandya. Let’s take things out with a bang! 😀

Final Instalment of VoV’s Monthly Showcase

So, as you know, next month marks VoV’s fourth anniversary.
 
To mark the occasion, our show will include multiple feature performers and, of course, cupcakes for all to enjoy. Partly this is to celebrate four years of women’s live lit and spoken word in Ottawa; but it’s also a farewell party that will take us out with a bang.
 
Next month’s show, May 8th, will be VoV’s final instalment as a monthly showcase.
While Voices of Venus will continue to run Special Presentations as and when we have the opportunity to do so, I can no-longer financially support this showcase and, thus, it’s time for me to move on to other adventures.
 
You all, of course, have been utterly wonderful, and I absolutely treasure what we’ve made together. 🙂
 
Thank you.

Upcoming Events – April 2013

Thursday, April 18th

Ottawa Storytellers’ Speaking Out, Speaking In series presents: “Granddaughters Speak” ft Marta Singh and Sherri Yazdani

NAC Fourth Stage

7:30pm

Tickets: $20 at the NAC Box Office

 

Sunday, April 21st

Dusty Owl presents Sonia Saikaley and Alexis Kienlen

Mugshots Bar (75 Nicholas Street, in the Old Jail)

3pm

PWYC

 

Tuesday, April 23rd

Tree Reading Series presents:

A Round Table editing session with John Steffler (6:45pm)

AND

A feature performance by Mary Dalton (8pm)

Arts Court Library

PWYC

 

Friday April 26th

Ottawa International Writers’ Festival presents:

Writing your Life” with (VoV alumna) Amber Dawn, Iain Reid, and Miriam Katin (6:30pm)

Every Happy Family” ft Cathy Marie Buchanan, Saleema Nawaz, and Shyam Selvadurai (8:30pm)

Knox Presbyterian Church

$15 per show (online or at the door)

The Spring Edition of Writers’ Fest is ongoing – running from April 10th to May 13th – and more information can be found at www.writersfestival.org.

 

Saturday April 27th

Ivan Coyote and Taqralik Partridge (!!!) as part of Northern Scene

Knox Presbyterian Church

8:30pm

Tickets – $12 online, at the NAC box office, or at the door. You can also get in with a Writers’ Fest pass.

Northern Scene runs from April 25th to May 4th and includes 250 artists from Yukon, North West Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut. You can find more information on performers and performances at http://nac-cna.ca/en/northernscene.

 

Saturday April 27 AND Sunday April 28th

Plan 99 in conjunction with Writers’ Fest present:

Tamas Dobozy & Elisabeth de Mariaffi (27th)
David Seymour, Rona Shaffran & Stephanie Bolster (28th)

Manx Pub

5pm

Free

Voices of Venus ft Amanda Earl

Amanda Earl FB Event Banner - April 2013
 
Amanda Earl is an Ottawa Poetry dynamo. She has no less than seven chapbooks to her name, and her work has appeared in numerous publications, most recently including: Rampike 19.2, the Cultural Mischief Issue; PRECIPICe, Volume 3; and Dusie 10.
She has been the managing editor for Bywords.ca and the Bywords Quarterly Journal for ten years; and also runs AngelHousePress through-which she publishes the Experiment-O annual e-magazine.
Amanda has performed on numerous stages around the city, including Tree, VERSeFest, and – back in 2009 – VoV’s very first show.
Tonight, she’s bringing us an erotically charged set featuring both poetry and prose. Do come out and join us. 🙂

Upcoming Events – February 2013

Hey folks,
Thanks for making tonights show – complete with unexpected last-minute venue change – a success. It was wonderful to see you all out. 🙂
How many of you have gone home hunting mangoes, after hearing Jackie’s poem? 😉
 
Below is just a smattering of the spoken word and live lit events happening in Ottawa during the second half of February. Please do check them out. 🙂
 
 

Friday, Feb 15th

 
Dusty Owl presents “Senior Love Poetry” (a fundraiser for VERSeFest – there will be goofy prizes)
Mug Shots – pub in the Jail House Hostel
9pm
PWYC
 
 

Saturday, Feb 16th

 
Ottawa Storytellers’ Speaking Out Speaking In present “Beyond the Underground Railroad – Black History in Canada” ft Ruthanne Edward and Greg Frankson
7:30pm
Tickets are $25.50 at the NAC Box Office
 
 

Sunday Feb 17th

 
Dusty Owl presents a fundraiser for the Black Youth Conference, ft Jacqueline Lawrence & John Akpata
Mug Shots – pub in the Jail House Hostel
3pm
PWYC
 
AB Series presents Luna Allison and evalyn parry
Raw Sugar
7:30
$12
 
 

Sunday, February 24th

 
Words of a Poet – Vol. IV ft Raliq Bashard, Komi Olaf, Ikenna Onyegbula, Hodan Ibrahim, Brandon Wint, Ragaeeb, Synonymous, and Ibn Najeeb
Ottawa Little Theatre
7pm
Cost Unknown
 
 

Tuesday, February 26th

 
Tree Reading Series presents:
6:45pm – Tree Seeds workshop: Playing with Constraints with Gwynn Scheltema
8pm – Show ft Monty Reid & Nina Berkhout
Arts Court Library
PWYC
 
Ottawa Story Tellers’ Stories and Tea presents “Tailored Tales: Clothes encounters of the woven kind” ft. Nicole Lavigne and Phil Nagy
Tea Party Café (119 York St)
7pm
$8/PWYC
 
 

NOTE: Next Month VoV will be at Knox Church (Elgin at Lisgar) because it’s VERSeFest Time! We will be featuring Luna Allison and Lady Katalyst, and the show will begin at 7pm. Tickets are $10 OR attend both of that evening’s shows for $15.

 
 
TTFN, and see you next month at VERSeFest,
A.

“Voices for the Voiceless” – Poetry, Anti-Oppression Work, and Doin’ It Rong.

Hi everybody.
I’ve been sitting on this post for months, but I really need to talk about this, so here it is.
 
When we started running VoV, the idea was to give all women a place where we could stand up and tell our own stories through poetry and prose. And this has worked really well over the almost four years we’ve been doing it.
However I need to throw a reminder up on here.
See, the operative words in that mission statement are “our own”.
 
In the local – and probably not-so-local, if youtube is any judge – spoken word community, there’s a lot of what I think of as Activist Poetry; poetry that makes the personal political in one way or another. I’ve written that kind of poetry and chances are that you, reading this, have as well. Some of it’s more personal and some of it’s more political, but there’s definitely a lot of it about.
And, of course, not everyone shares the same politics.
Some of you have probably listened to someone like me perform a piece about womanhood or sexuality and wondered how the performer could feel so differently about their chosen subject than you do. I know I’ve sat at the back of the show, twitching in my seat, as someone has performed a poem about her pro-life stance, or has used a word like “hooker” as if it were a pejorative instead of a career choice; and I’ve bitten my lip and reminded myself You can’t police people’s choices of words. She’s telling her own story. If you tell her she has to tell it differently, then it stops being Voices of Venus and turns into Voices of People Who Sound Just Like You.
 
But sometimes you do have to draw a line.
 
Remember what I said about telling our own stories?
 
There’s this pervasive, insidious idea that there are “people with no voices”. To pick an example near-and-dear to my own heart, people who are vocal about wanting to abolish sexwork through criminalization are also, frequently, people who don’t listen to actual sexworkers talking about how the criminalization of their jobs, or things associated with their jobs, actually makes the work more dangerous and the industry, itself, harder to leave in the long run.
Frequently, “people with no voices” really means “people whose voices get ignored”.
And those are not actually the same thing.
 
I mean, look at VoV. We created this stage because women have, for a long time, been classified as “people with no voices”: People whose voices get ignored. It’s why Charlotte Bronte wrote under the pen name “Currer Bell” in order to publish. It’s why an unknown author with a potential run-away hit on her hands styled herself “J.K.” instead of “Joanne”. It’s why Rusty felt a need to write that post about attendance at the women’s slams in town.
Just because women, as a population or as individuals, have been told in various ways that “people (with voices)” don’t want to listen to us… doesn’t mean that we’re not speaking, or that we have nothing to stay.
 
So. Where am I going with this?
 
Sometimes well intentioned people – people who officially “have voices” – fuck up. A man will try to speak about sexualized street harassment as if he experiences it to the same degree that women do; a white woman will try to talk about racial oppression from a perspective that isn’t, and can’t be, hers; a straight person will try to talk about the experience of being queer…
I get that we do this because we want those stories to be told, to be heard, to be listened to. But when we, as activists using poetry and narrative to draw attention to oppression, try to speak from a perspective that isn’t our own; and when we rely on two-dimensional tropes like “The Noble Savage” or “The Almost-Deceptive-Enough Trans Woman”, or “The Abused Street Hooker”, or any of the other cardboard cut-outs, in order to do it… we’re being part of the problem.
 
The best thing we can do, when we want a situation to be brought to light, is to shut up and listen, and make space for those stories to be told by the people who experience those situations.
 
If you’re someone who officially “has a voice” – a straight person who wants to talk about homophobia, a white person who wants to talk about racialized oppression, someone with a roof overhead who wants to talk about homelessness – do it by telling your own story.
 
I can’t write about decolonizing indigenous women’s bodies – the way, say, Moe Clark and Emilie Monnet do – because I don’t have that experience. But I can write, as Luna Allison did in her “Scotch Broom” poem, about being a naturalized transplant, a white woman whose home is on colonized soil.
 
I can’t write about whore stigma from the perspective of a street-based sex worker, or an indoor escort, because those experiences aren’t mine. But I can write about the horror and disgust on the face of the faculty-member who demanded “Does your wife know you have naked women in here??” of the animation prof that I work for …and talk about it that way.
 
If we talk about oppression by being open, and getting vulnerable, and telling our own stories, we make space for everyone to tell theirs.

Upcoming Events – January 2013

Wednesday, January 9th

 

Voices of Venus ft The Rubies
Venus Envy
Doors and sign-up: 7:30
Show: 8pm
$5/PWYC

 
 

Thursday, January 10th

 
AB Series ft Pearl Pirie and Carolyn Smart
Raw Sugar
8pm-10pm
PWYC (pass the hat)
 
 

Friday, January 11th

 
Urban Legends ft Kym Dominique Ferguson
Carleton University Architecture Building (1125 Colonel By Drive)
7pm
$8 (performers, volunteers, children get in FREE; $50 to winning poet)
 
 

Saturday, January 12th

 
No Rules Slam ft Dimorphic
Mercury Lounge
Doors and sign-up: 6:30
Slam: 7pm
$8 (free for competitors)
 
 

Thursday, January 17th

 
Ottawa Storytellers’ Speaking Out, Speaking In Series presents “Flying in the Dark” ft Kim Kilpatrick
NAC 4th Stage
7:30pm
$20 at the NAC Box Office
 

Sunday, January 20th

 
Dusty Owl presents Luna Allison and Erin Saoirse Adair
Mug Shots (75 Nicholas – pub inside the old Jail House next to Arts Court)
3pm-6pm
PWYC
 
 

Monday, January 21st

 
Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam ft CauseMo and Kimbit
Pressed Café (Gladstone at Arthur)
Workshop: 5:30
Slam: 6:30
$2/PWYC
 
 

Tuesday, January 22nd

 
Ottawa Storytellers’ Stories and Tea Series presents “Firsts” ft Anne Nagy and Sherri Yazdani
Tea Party Café (117 York St)
7pm
$8/PWYC
 
Tree Reading Series ft Erín Moure
Arts Court Library
Tree Seeds workshop – 6:45pm (Sound Techniques: Voice and Mics Part 2, ft Jennifer Pederson)
Show ft Erín Moure – 8pm
PWYC
 
 

Thursday, January 24th

 
The Factory Reading Series presents Ottawater 9
Contributors include VoV alums Abby Paige, Amanda Earl, Frances Boyle, Ronnie R. Brown, and Pearl Pirie, among many others
Carleton Tavern (Armstrong and Parkdale in Hintonburg)
7pm
PWYC
 
 

Saturday, January 26th

 

VERSeOttawa 2013 Women’s Slam Championship
Ft: CauseMo, Hannah Christie, Dimorphic, D-Lightfull, Elle P, Kay’la Fraser, Freedom Writer, Emelie Jaquez, Kimbit, Missaralee, Jenna Tenn-Yuk, and V.
Mercury Lounge
Doors: 6:30
Championship: 7pm
$8

 
 

Sunday, January 27th

 

Bywords presents Bywords Warms the Night – a fundraiser for Cornerstone Women’s Shelter
Ft: Dominique Bernier- Cormier, JC Bouchard, Heather Davidson, cb forrest, Cassandra Nykyforak, & Catherine Ruth Taylor (plus music by Jill Zmud)
Bywords Winter 2013 Edition will be launched at this event
The Manx Pub (Elgin near Gladstone)
5pm-6pm
By Donation (pass-the-hat) – Everyone who donates gets a copy of BQJ Winter Edition