November 20, 2020
On Saturday, November 28, ArtStarts on Saturdays returns with a round up of poets who will be sharing work from their very own anthology titled Birthday Party.
Poets in this book embrace queerness, self-love, forgiveness, and as a group, figure out what it means to release the past and make new marks. Some of the poets from the book, and the newly formed Flaming Balloon Collective of youth poets are joining ArtStarts to share their new work from the anthology!
Angelica, Tawahum, and Anjalica will make their mark by showing us the power of language as a tool for healing, expression, inspiring change, and revealing truths. We’re excited to present to you this stellar lineup of artists and their bright, shiny love for their chosen medium, poetry!
ArtStarts: How did you get started writing poetry?
Angelica: When I was five, I was excited by the Arthur theme song. The rhythm and the rhyming were thrilling. I stole some of the end rhymes from our favourite aardvark, and boom. After that, I started writing little rhymes about kindergarten, balloons, and the colour blue. When I shared a poem in grade one, my friend told me, "Wow, that's amazing that it rhymes and it makes sense!” And I started slowly figuring out how words can sound together and tell stories. Fast forward a little, and before I knew it I was signing up for a poetry club in grade 8 and heading out to Cafe Deux Soleils for the first time.
Tawahum: I accidentally took a Creative Writing class five years ago in university and found out I had a knack for it, and so much to process from my childhood. Then, I learned how it can be used to inspire change for the next generations and beyond!
Anjalica: I had an English teacher in middle school and high school that exposed me to spoken word poetry in a class. Someone who I now consider a great friend taught a poetry workshop in our class and invited me to a poetry slam. I took interest to writing, and got involved with UBC Slam poetry, from there, before I knew it I was going to a lot of spoken word competitions and finding new ways to craft my poetry.
ArtStarts: What is your favourite part about the art form? What keeps you continuing?
Angelica: I love the ability to unearth truth. Shatter walls. Release language. To dig up definitions. I love that poems can only be written with awe and courage to face what is most scary. Poets are un-silencers. I keep going because there is much more to reveal, discover, and free!
Tawahum: The spoken truth part is so freeing and wonderful. When I learn something new, or realize something about my past, I can turn that into poetry and it makes my life feel fuller and clearer.
Anjalica: I love poetry because I get the chance to create a world of images and feelings, It is a form that asks you to dive in and be very grounded and present in your body and aware of the world.
ArtStarts: Did you have a favourite poem when you were growing up? What was it?
Angelica: I fell in love with poetry in a transformative way in high school. Joining the poetry club at my high school was pivotal because it introduced me to spoken word. And for the first time, poetry really came to life for me. It’s cheesy now but I must say I remember listening to was Shane Koyzcan's "To this Day" at poetry club. I fell in love, I fell in love, and I fell in love again. After this poem, I kept digging and finding out about poets. I was ready to explore everything.
Tawahum: I gotta be honest, I didn’t know poetry well until I turned 22. They always taught us about Shakespeare and other ancient white men. I did love Dr. Seuss though, especially The Lorax.
Anjalica: Maybe it’s a little cheesy now lol, but someone I had a great friendship (and small crush on) showed me the poem “Every Day You Play” by Pablo Neruda. I would read that poem all the time, and I loved the images in the poem. It reminded me of my friend and the summers we spent together reading and writing poems that were so full of emotions like longing, and love.
ArtStarts: What can the audience expect from your performance?
Angelica: My amazing friends Tawahum and Anjalica. We’re going to share some imagining about making marks. How do we use poetry for our healing? How do we use poetry for power? Then I’ll be excited to pass the stage to the brilliant youth who will share all about Birthday Parties. And all together we’ll see where language can bring out for us and in us together.
Tawahum: The poetry of stitching together our bloodlines like thread and being sad about what we can’t see in the night sky.
Anjalica: Some sweet words about my grandparents, some reflections that have come up during these COVID days of being at home all the time.
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