On Monday, I'll be heading to Winnipeg for my 11th Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 12 years, which takes place from Oct 23 to 30. The CFSW is an annual slam festival pitting teams from more than 20 Canadian cities against each other in nightly bouts, and also featuring daytime events and late-night showcases.
But to me, it'll always be poetry camp.
This is where I revel in how the poetry community comes together for a week-long lovefest bridging borders and demographics. Halifax poets cipher with Guelph slammasters; young newbie poets learn from the old heads who've been in the scene more than a decade; sound poets break bread with hiphop MCs; and despite gathering under the umbrella of competition, what makes this festival so special is how you build friendships with those who are also passionate about this fun and funky art form.
In life, how often do we get to be part of a support group that inspires, entertains, motivates? How often do we get to have an "adult camp" vibe every year, as Facebook tethers us together those other 51 weeks? The Canadian spoken word scene constantly pulls me out of any doldrums that may weigh me down me, because I know my people will be soon with me. Some of my strongest friendships have blossomed from a chance CFSW encounter.
So this week I once again can't wait to see how this spoken word community nourishes my artistic spirit and rekindles relationships that always slide a smile on my face.
And if you want to keep track of what I'm doing in Winnipeg, feel free to follow my adventures via @SilverbergDave.
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Media criticism. Poetry. Theatre. Toronto. Technology. Travel. Sports. Why X-Files rocks.