Youth Poetry Finals

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The finals were a cool thing that I experienced on a happy monday 23rd at the wise hall. It was overall a really great time to have people come out and support me and love me and make me feel like a super duper awesome artist. The night was divided into three rounds, each circled on a square stage with by a 360 degree audience.

This particular realm of torture ended up being a unexpected benefit to my drama in my performance.

But let me rewind a little and get a run-down of the event. 

Since July, we’ve all been competing our bodies and brains and tongues and alliterations out to get on to this finals stage, to hopefully after become a member of the team to fly into the national competition in Ottawa. Over the course of the season the accumulation of points put me onto the stage on March 23rd.

My competitors were Emma FieldAlex MontinolaNatalie Zakon , Mariah Dear , Vienna Claire Jeffery & Andrew Warner.

Leading up to the event, we had a series of workshops which were very helpful. Contrary to my popular belief of my own poetry being perfect, these workshops spoke of things to improve on, change and opened my mind to new possibilities.

Like a gong hit, the day was there and I arrived, nervous and in red to the finals night. Patrick de Belen, a youth educator, speaker, and an award-winning spoken word artist shared his hard-hitting poetry. He was wonderful in all definitions of the word, check him out here: Patrickdebelen.com

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Anyway, the night continued and flourished and each three rounds I participated in I felt great about my poems. I was too nervous to take a significant amount of thought into other people’s poetry or their scores for that matter.

However, because of the workshops and being around in slam most of the poetry performed that night before at least once, which was nice to feel like I was emerged in a familiar environment. Overall, everyone was doing a great job and it’s nice to see my friends,

By the third round though, I had realized I wouldn’t be too heart-broken if I didn’t make the team and loosened up promptly.

Anyway, in the end I came in 6th place, needed a 5th to make the team. I lost that spot by 0.1 point! In poetry literally anything that is pure lameness.

Initially, I was a wee bit crushed/ devastated/ clinically heartbroken, but then I realized that the thing with assigning poetry scores by random people is that it might not necessarily the best way to go about it, but it is the best way to encourage poetry production. And what better judges than haphazard people who are just there for a craft they know nothing about, everything about, or just don’t like you because you have short hair and aren’t a lesbian. (How dare you confuse me?)

It makes you want to be the best in everyone’s eyes. Which is a difficult thing. Because what I have noticed in my old cynical years of poetry writing and performing, (sips tea loudly), is that things that are well-liked are things that are naturally known by everyone, felt and already established as comments about the world. While old geezers like me are all like stop pain-pimpin, be creative, you don’t have to be dark to be effective- but then I wonder if I am wrong.

The same applies to all art forms, pop-culture’s pop, anything pop is because it is an instant truth, an instant thought, and I want to try to be unique and create new thoughts ideas and expose to things that cause disturbance. In the same way classical music is here to taunt us with things that make us uncomfortable, I want my poetry to do the same. It’s a funny art balance and I am not at all there yet, but I am working on it.

So this experience has taught me to keep myself writing and aiming to be the best poet I can be, produce the strongest and constantly compete with myself, I know every last word will count and resonate.

The only thing that is left in me to think, is that if poetry, art and music are all a game of how other people perceive it- is no art good or bad but rather just a product of social constructs?

If so, I am doing it wrong. But I feel like I am doing it right if I stay true to myself. I guess I need to figure out what my goal is with my poetry before I can figure out if I am “doing it right”.

So what is my goal?

Well thank you for asking oh dear blog stumbler. My goal is to bring new ideas, new thoughts, fresh outlooks and attention and pinpoint what makes this world hard, great and laughable. It is to be honest. Ideally, I wish everyone appreciated that. But I could never ever ask or expect or even desire that honestly.

So instead, I wish that when people listen to me they get something out of it. Something. Anything. It doesn’t have to be what I want, but at least a microscopic feeling or a tiny freckle of a laugh. A perspective not considered, a clearer view, an interesting experience at the very least.

All in all, this was a great experience. And I want more.

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