This week at Alpha,
Our class, along with the other two mini school classes and the grade 8 discovery class embarked on a journey to the 30th annual Vancouver Writers’ Fest that took place at Granville Island.
First things first, as if there wasn’t a better way to start off the day, the scheduled buses were delayed to almost 45 minutes late. Thankfully, we arrived at our destination just as our first presentation was about to start so we were lucky to not have missed any of it.
The theme of the two performances that the grade 9 mini school attended that day were based around slam poetry. While both of the shows featured 4 poets, the whereabouts of where the poets came from varied. In the morning performance, the artists showcased were the Vancouver slam poetry team; “Van Slam.” As the art of slam poetry falls into a more modern and progressive category of art, the fact that there was so much diversity in the Van Slam team really did a good job of representing the inclusivity and acceptance of the slam community.
One thing the first performance had that the second performance lacked were the team poems, now, though it makes sense why that was so as the first group was a team whereas the second were individual presenters. But from a personal standpoint I felt that the group poem was a neat touch to the overall presentation. Another thing about the morning show was that the perspectives of which the poets saw the world and wrote from was difference and seemed in a way more raw than the other slam poems I have listened to in the past. Doing so gave the poems more character and put situations that most do not get experience into perspective, especially in terms of emotional weight. For example, the issue addressed by Spillious, a transgender woman, was society’s reaction to someone out of the ordinary. One of the most impactful lines in her poem, was the opening, “I am wonder woman, when people look at me they wonder, man, or woman?” This particular phrase resonated with the audience as in so few words, it described so much.
After the “Van Slam Special,” we were allotted a chunk of time to go for lunch and explore the island before the afternoon show. Granville Island had a lot to offer when it came to interesting stores and quirky trinkets. In fact, there was this one magic store, “Clownin’ Around Magic” that really caught the attention of a handful of students within the mini school. The store carried magic props of all sorts and it was quite the experience to look around at all the different items.
Now onto the afternoon show, to kick off the event, the winner of the 2017 slam poetry contest recited “Wolf Lake” by Elizabeth Bachinsky. Needless to say, her performance was a showstopper and she recited it with so much expression and emotions that it gave the illusion that she was the one in the situation the poem depicted. Though all the poets were fantastic, one in particular that I want to mention was the poet that came all the way from the UK to give Vancouver a taste of her art.
Overall the field trip was a great eye opener and paved the way to our own pieces of slam poems from the BETA mini school. And that was the highlight of this week…