Artists and art disciplines that rely on live performance have been profoundly affected by the pandemic. From live music and dance to theatre and the oral traditions of poetry and storytelling known as spoken word—the forced closure of presentation spaces has hit hard.
This talk is part of a Black storytelling series and will examine how the Black Canadian spoken word scene has been affected by, adapted to and pivoted in the current pandemic. There will be highlights on key artists changing the game and speculative visions on the future of the Black Canadian oral tradition. It is in the end, as in the beginning, an African tradition that has kept African culture in the diaspora as alive and epic as ever.
How can you participate? Attend the discussion in person (note, there is a maximum of 25 audience members permitted in the space) or online by registering for the Zoom webinar or watching live on our YouTube channel.
Tawhida Tanya Evanson is a Canadian poet, author, multidisciplinary artist, producer and arts educator. Her two poetry collections are Bothism (Ekstasis 2017) and Nouveau Griot (Frontenac 2018), and her first novel Book of Wings (Véhicule 2021) was on the CBC Canada Reads 2022 Longlist and one of Quill & Quire's 2021 Books of the Year. With a 25-year practice in spoken word, she performs internationally and has released four studio albums and six videopoems including the award-winning Almost Forgot my Bones. In 2013, she was Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and received the Golden Beret Award for her contribution to the genre. She is program director of the Banff Centre Spoken Word residency and vice president of The Quebec Writers' Federation. Born and based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal of Afro-Antiguan and Québécoise descent, she moonlights as a whirling dervish.