Hullabaloo, the BC high school poetry slam, is only a week away, and I am feeling the usual mix of excitement and nervousness that usually goes along with performances like these. I talked quite a bit about it in my last post, so I’ll just update by saying that the team will be working hard up until competition. From the beginning, our mentor, Jacob, had always been telling us what a great time we will have at Hullabaloo, and now that we are so close to the date, it seems a lot more real. In addition to having the opportunity to present my poetry, I am also looking forward to meeting some super talented poets from other high schools in BC. Spoken word poetry is definitely a growing art form, and it will be a great experience to be around other youth who are as interested in it as I am. Although it is a competition, Jacob reminds us that ‘the point is not the points, the point is the poetry’, so more than anything, I am looking forward to performing with the Gleneagle team, and being a part of an event that is larger than anything I had hoped to accomplish in this project. When it comes to my own goals, being exposed to the wonderful variety of poetry that is out there is very important to me, and participating in Hullabaloo will help me continue to expand my experience as a poetry performer and audience.

Of course, in all the time that the team spends preparing for our competition, we also find time to attend other poetry events and slams as well. Last week, Jamie and I had the opportunity to see Sara Kay and Phil Kaye at a Granville Island theatre, which was a just surreal, since I have spent a considerable amount of time watching both of these wonderful gems on YouTube. Let’s just say that I am definitely a fan. You may know Sara from her very popular TEDtalk performance, which if you haven’t seen, you should check out:

I actually heard about their very last minute performance through Sara’s Facebook page, and jumped at the opportunity to see her and Phil’s show. Both of these poets travel all around North America, performing poetry at slams and schools, and have gained a lot of public support internationally. I have never really been star-struck before, but when Sara and Phil walked out, I was have to admit that I was a  taken aback by their stage presence and the way they both spoke onstage. Because it was such an intimate, small theatre, the entire show felt very natural and interactive, which of course passed by all too quickly. I had viewed many of the poems before online, but I was also surprised with some ones that were new to me. Afterwards, Jamie and I lined up to buy Sara’s very newly released book and to have a chat with both of the poets, but most of what I remember was me blubbering over how good they were. We also told them about our current endeavors in the poetry world, and Sara signed off the book with ‘Write on’. And write on I shall.

As In-Depth night is approaching, my goal is to keep all of these experiences in mind, which also include Hullabaloo in about seven days time. By the time May comes around, I look forward to performing my Hullabaloo pieces, as well as presenting my learning from the various performances and events I have attended, which will hopefully bring some attention about this slightly lesser-known performance art. Until then, nothing is really slowing down, and the Gleneagle team will be going full speed until competition!