The land is necessary for all of us to survive and thrive, but our interactions with it are all invariably unique, intricate, and changing.
This event has been created in order to speak to that unique interaction by asking artists of any printable medium to submit their works to Guelph Spoken Word with the prompt: "What does a relationship with the land look like to you?"
Such a simple-seeming question has elicited more than 70 submitted works, from poetry and short stories to photography and paintings.
A jury of writers, publishers, and spoken word artists has selected a number of diverse artist works to feature at this event - featuring artists are: Jeffrey Reid Pettis, Bieke Stengos, Marian Thorpe, Jeremy Luke Hill, and Chelsea McIsaac.
In addition to featured works, we have invited members of a few distinct communities to spotlight their voices and perspectives on their relationships with the land:
Rene Meshake is an Ojibwe elder, visual and performing artist, award-winning author, storyteller, flute player, new media artist and a Recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He works to fuse Ojibwe and English words into his stories, poetry and spoken word performances, Rene communicates his Ojibwe spiritual heritage to the contemporary world. He was born in the railway town of Nakina in Northwestern Ontario and was raised by his Okomissan grandmother. His education includes: Anishinaabe oral tradition, language, arts and culture. Rene has a diploma in Graphic Design from Sheridan College and a certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers. Rene’s body of artwork, stories and his flute improvisations create a strong, expressive, and entertaining presentation for an ever-increasing audience. He also has an active on-line and performing presence as a Funky-Elder.
Bashar Lulu Jabbour (He/Him) is an immigrant poet! He uses the mundane to give you a glimpse of the complexities of leaving one home for another. Bashar is a storyteller, and his stories are deeply personal. He is a nationally competing poet, finishing 5th (team) & 6th (individual) in Canada, and he has performed his poetry throughout the Region and the country. His debut book will be released in early 2017. You can find him at facebook.com/basharlulujabbour.
Our final spotlight, a farmer, mother, and seed saver is no longer able to speak on this evening, but stay tuned as we will have another confirmed sustainable agriculturalist to speak to their experiences with the land and its teachings ASAP.
Join us on Earth Day for an evening of readings, performed works, and community spotlights focused on the many forms that a relationship with our land base can take!
This is a dry event, but we will have organic herbal teas, warm apple cider, and baked goods from local farmers and businesses for sale.