Two weekends ago concluded the last Hullabaloo I will ever be a participant in and ah. In grade 9 when I started hullabaloo I was eager about learning how to perform poetry and attending the festival made me see how much further I can go. That year I attended a few slams and slowly discovered that this was something for me. It was hearing words from Duncan andJohnny– people who I had viciously watched and admired on the Youtubes– that they liked my poems and presence that made me feel kind of like “gaaaah what me!” Those small comments really did put confidence in me.
I was on the team with two grade twelves that had started the poetry club, and honestly looking back, I wonder if I would have discovered the depth of spoken word without them. It was in this experience that I started to find that my poetry had weight and importance.
In grade 10 at Hullabaloo I met a lot of special people who are now some of my dearest friends and one who is my very dearest friend and proud love Lyle Hendriks.
I started to really attend slams after hullabaloo 2014 where I wrote “The Elephant in the Room” and realized a tiny bit of what my voice might be. Shortly after I wrote “Hi I’m” and I think here is where I found my love of satirizing every day life and playing with surreality.
Hullabaloo 2015 was again a wonderful moment in my development as a poet. I don’t know these past couple of years poetry has completely enveloped my life. Spoken word is a vital part of my identity, so close to me I cannot imagine how I would express through the world without such a medium. After this Hullabaloo I had went on to finally making the youth slam team! Which has been quite a different journey on its own and the subject of many other blogah posts.
Now 2016 is over and I am just feeling so many things. As per usual. I am so lucky for the people that I have met through this. The people I am lucky enough to call friends. I am lucky for being given so much support and love from people as I slowly discovered my voice. Every time I write a new poem I learn about how I see the world, in a more complex way than I could have ever imagined. I find myself understanding myself through my images and metaphors that flow out of my brain unfiltered when I write. Poetry is no longer an activity or a hobby, this is really the vessel to learn who I am and how I believe in the tones that make up every day to be a part of something greater.
This community has given me a stage to tell me that learning those things and feeling those things are important. I have learned so many things I cannot quite accurately describe the vibrancy it has had brought on in my life. There are so many people that I need to thank for this but there is one that I really want to give a shout out to RC Weslowski who continuously brings something new to me as the youth slam scene coordinator/God and youth team mentor and coach and as the overall person who I can attribute a lot of inspiration from about being brave enough to be myself on stage and in walking life.
I know this is something I will continue to pursue, a constant that will follow me through valleys and mountains, tragedy and comedy, orange and fiery.