Some words about the


Poetry in Action & Workshops

Friday to Sunday, October 21, 22 & 23, 2005

by Judith Turner

Last year I attended the Words Aloud Festival in Durham, not knowing what to expect. It was exhilarating to be part of such an enthusiastic audience, hearing and seeing poets perform their own unique work, so I welcomed the chance when invited to become involved in the planning for the second annual WORDS ALOUD Spoken Word and Storytelling FESTIVAL. Three exciting days of performance poetry by renowned Canadian artists are now being organized, with storytelling an added main stage feature that is guaranteed to enchant and engage participants of all ages. The Festival also offers a unique opportunity for poets, wordsmiths and lovers of poetry to work with featured performers in inspirational and creatively charged workshops. These are offered for adults and teens, with some full and partial scholarships available.

What will you experience at the Words Aloud Festival? An exhilarating, wacky, quirky, zany, humorous, touching, and energizing word feast that will leave you amazed, speech-full, inspired and completely hooked on the diverse and exciting forms of poetic expression. You can participate by attending evening Spoken Word performances and also hone your own writing skills at the daytime writing workshops

Who’s performing this year? Rienzi Crusz is originally from Sri Lanka, and has an active voice among Canadian immigrant poets, with five published books of poetry as well as published works in numerous anthologies both in Canada and abroad. Rienzi writes eloquent, vivid poems that he presents in a popular, anecdotal style. Darek Dawda from Winnipeg is an award winning, high-energy slam poet, founder and host of the Winnipeg Poetry Slam series, founder and coordinator of the Canadian Spoken Word Olympics, as well as an academic and psychotherapist. Be prepared for a whirlwind of thought and emotion that picks you up, throws you around and then stands you back, gently, on your feet!

Daniel David Moses, one of Canada’s foremost First Nations writers, is an award winning poet and playwright. He is a consummate storyteller who draws inspiration from oral traditions and urban experiences. Daniel David’s poetry has been published since 1974 and translated into many languages. His work has also appeared in prestigious international and national literary magazines. Victoria Stanton is a Montreal-based performance artist motivated by process and discovery, using text, sound, action, costume and objects. Victoria has participated in festivals and arts events in Canada, Australia and Japan; her solo and collective spoken-word pieces have been broadcast on national radio.

Marian Frances White, poet, writer, and filmmaker from St. John’s, Newfoundland, voted Artist of the Year 2000 by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. Her poignant poetry embraces personal stories and observations with wit, heart and vigor. Leslie Robbins-Conway & Paul Conway of Voyageur Storytelling of Northern Bruce Peninsula, two of Canada’s foremost concert storytelling performers, are well known for their long original narrative recitations, unique in modern Canadian storytelling. They are the inventors and hosts of Country Supper Storytelling Concerts, an unusual adventure in performing art which has been playing to enthusiastic audiences for the past four summer seasons.

Workshops leaders will include Daniel David Moses, Victoria Stanton and Marian Frances White. Hone your own talents and experience the full opportunity of the Poetry Festival by registering for a dynamic session. If you would like to request a full or partial scholarship for a workshop, write a letter (maximum one page) stating why you would like to receive a scholarship and how you anticipate that the workshop will be of benefit to you. Your letter should be addressed to Dyan Jones, Words Aloud Festival Coordinator, RR1, Durham, ON N0G 1R0.


This year the Durham Art Gallery is presenting a free viewing of
spoken word videos on Thursday evening, October 20, including Sheri-D
Wilson's "Spinsters" (performed live at last year's Words Aloud Festival).

The Words Aloud Poetry Collective acknowledges the support of Heritage Canada, The League of Canadian Poets, Canada Council for the Arts, the Municipality of West Grey, the Durham Art Gallery and MOSAIC.

To find out more about the festival contact the Durham Art Gallery at (519) 369-3692, by email at <> or visit their website at <>. Watch for detailed information on the Festival program and workshops in the October MOSAIC. Tickets will be available at the Durham Art Gallery, (519) 369-3692 and Millennium Books (519) 364-5642.

We hope that you will come and be a part of this exciting event. You’ll experience poetry as you’ve never heard or thought of it before, and have a chance to meet the performers too! Wendy Morton, B.C. poet and workshop leader at last year’s festival, said: "For me, the Durham Words Aloud Festival set the standard for all poetry festivals". Be sure to mark the dates for this year on your calendar!

October 20, 21, 22 & 23, 2005

at the Durham Art Gallery, 251 George St., Durham, ON