$17 – $20

Poetry Cabaret

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Big Secret Theatre

205 8th Avenue SE

Calgary, Alberta T2G 0K9

Canada

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A subversive cocktail of poetic voices served with a dash of bitters and a zesty twist. Each of these talented authors brings to the Wordfest stage a unique perspective on topics ranging from feminism, LGBTQ+ issues, Indigenous interests, and everyday mysteries. Musical accompaniment by Cris Derksen, Nick Ferrio, and Ashley Simpson, who will also be performing on Saturday night with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson.

Injun (Jordan Abel)

Abel’s third collection, Injun, is a long poem about racism and the representation of Indigenous peoples. Composed of text found in western genre novels published between 1840 and 1950 – the heyday of pulp publishing and a period of unfettered colonialism in North America – Injun uses erasure, pastiche and a focused poetics to create a visually striking response to the western genre.

This Wound is a World (Billy-Ray Belcourt)

Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to “cut a hole in the sky to world inside.” Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.”

Hera Lindsay Bird (Hera Lindsay Bird)

With themes as varied as snow and tears, the poems in Hera Lindsay Bird shine with Bird’s skill and verve, juxtaposing classical and modern tastes. Bird turns her prescient eye on love and loss, and what emerges is like a helicopter in fog, or a bejewelled Christmas sleigh, gliding triumphantly through the contemporary aesthetic desert.

What the Soul Doesn’t Want (Lorna Crozier)

In her newest collection, Lorna Crozier describes the passage of time in the way that only she can. Her arresting, edgy poems about aging and grief are surprising and invigorating: a defiant balm. At the same time, she revels in the quirkiness and whimsy of the natural world. Crozier’s signature wit and striking imagery are on display as she stretches her wings and reminds us that we haven’t yet seen all that she can do.

Auguries (Clea Roberts)

Whether speaking of erotic love, domestic life, spiritual wilderness or family entanglements, the poems of Auguries, the much-anticipated second collection from Yukon poet Clea Roberts, are saturated with their northern landscape. With poems like single larches, each in an immense white plain spare and clean, their exactness startling and arresting, Roberts showcases her sensitivity and skill in this profound collection.

Dazzle Ships (Jamie Sharpe)

Jamie Sharpe’s Dazzle Ships draws its title from 20th century ships that employed dazzle camouflage: a confusing array of lines that distorted the viewer’s perspective, using art to hide life. Sharpe’s collection is also concerned with art’s relationship to life. It questions how we build poems from the material of mass culture.

Admission Requirements (Phoebe Wang)

The poems in Admission Requirements attempt to discover what is required of us when we cut across our material and psychic geographies. Simultaneously full and empty of its origins, the self is continually taxed of any certainties and ways of being.

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Big Secret Theatre

205 8th Avenue SE

Calgary, Alberta T2G 0K9

Canada

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