While Evanson enjoys writing, she says she also loves experiencing live-audience reactions at her spoken-word events.
“I am also a dancer,” Evanson explains. “That’s a different kind of performance, where you also lose yourself, but without words. When using language, the idea is to let the language, the content and the theme be at the forefront — but you also use your body. The text has to be strong, and the body also has to be strong for it to flow through. I’m kind of in the John Giorno-style of poets who sweat.”
A full-circle moment
Currently serving as vice-president of the Quebec Writers’ Federation, Evanson is translating Book of Wings into French for publication in 2024. And with Montreal’s legendary Kalmunity Vibe Collective, she is working on an “Afrofuturist long video-poem” titled Cyano Sun Suite, which will premiere in 2023.
“During COVID, I watched a lot of live concert documentaries from the late 1960s and early 1970s and thought, ‘I want to do something like that but with spoken word.’ So, I talked to members of Kalmunity Vibe Collective and we put on a live poetry-music concert at the Montreal Biosphere that will become this film.”
Evanson says her studies in Concordia’s Creative Writing program helped shape her work and career.
“My work was workshopped in class by other students and vice versa. It was invaluable being in that kind of setting,” she recalls. “What sparked my love of spoken word and music was working as a DJ and music director of the student radio station CRSG (now CJLO). I also studied publishing with my professor, Simon Dardick, who runs Véhicule Press, which published Book of Wings.
“There was a really nice circle there. I enjoyed my time at Concordia.”