The spoken word celebrated en masse at Day of the Poets

April 18, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

It was an afternoon of spoken word during the Day of the Poets 2, at the Orangeville Public Library on Saturday, April 13.

Poets from Orangeville and other towns and cities were invited to attend and read some of their work to an appreciative audience of poetry lovers.

This is the second year the event has been held. Last year, poets were at several locations around town but this year organizers decided to bring everyone together at one location.

Two workshops were held in the morning followed by the reading in the afternoon.

“Since I’ve been reinstated as Poet Laureate for the next four years, this is something I would like to make an annual event,” said Harry Posner, poet laureate for Dufferin County and event organizer. “I’ve been to other festivals. Towns like Eden Mills, for example, have a fabulous literary festival. It’s a tiny little village, and I thought if they can do it, why can’t we do it here.”

While Orangeville has many great festivals, there is a lack of cultural events, Mr. Posner said, adding that the Blues and Jazz Festival which he admires, is one of the few events with a cultural type flavour.

“It think we should do this as a regular part of the calendar – keep poetry alive and keep people aware of it.” 

The morning workshops helped people explore another side to poetry.

“One of the workshops was how to work sound with poetry,” Mr. Posner explained. “You recite your poetry but there are ways of adding sound to add to the ambiance of the poems. The other workshop included ‘found text’ poetry. This is creating poetry in ways that are not usual. It’s not just writing a poem. It’s finding text that’s already there and maybe erasing words and leaving other words to create a poem on the page. Erasure poetry is what it’s called.”

This was the first year the workshops were added to the event.

Mr. Posner invited poets from other cities and towns to take part in the event.

“I wanted to introduce the town to a wide range of diversity of voices. That’s what I was aiming for.”

While several poets read their work, Toronto poet Lillian Allen took it a step further and involved the audience by conducting them through a ‘sound poem’ created by having audience members create their own vocals which became a kind of choir of sound. 

The event was well attended by both poets and poetry lovers.

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