Thursday, Nov. 1 - Sunday, Nov. 4 2007

WELCOME TO OUR FOURTH YEAR and our first e-newsletter!

The program is confirmed and our new website launched, so check us out online ( and mark your calendar for November 1st - 4th. We have an amazing lineup of poets and storytellers for our main concerts at the Durham Art Gallery and a number of enhancements and new venues Everything is on the website, but Iíd like to highlight a few new things.


PEN Canada TAXI Project

On November 1 at the Hanover Theatre, PEN Canada will produce The TAXI Project, a new play that explores freedom of expression through the arts. Mexican writer-in-exile Emma Beltran will introduce the play and read from her own work. And for the first time, Words Aloud is offering an open stage for local poets and storytellers. If you want to perform, come a little early to sign up.


Childrenís Program

Also new this year is Storytelling and Poetry for Children (ages 3 and up) in the Durham Town Hall on Saturday, November 3. Pakistani storyteller Rukhsana Khan?s down-to-earth, humourous style is enchanting. She may tackle serious subject matter such as child refugees, but she does so with a light touch that engages listeners without trivializing the situation. Award winning children?s author and playwright Robert Priest is also a delight. His two books of poems for children: Daysongs Nightsongs and The Secret Invasion of Bananas, are both on CBC's recommended reading list.

Slam Poetry & Guest of Honour Shane Koyczan

We?re also bringing the Toronto Poetry Slam Team to two new venues - the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library on Saturday, November 3 at 1:30 pm and on Sunday at Above Stedmans in Durham. Expect a delicious, dynamic blend of poetry, hip-hop, theatre and storytelling. Local poets will be invited to join the slam poets (Arianna Pozzuoli, Krystle Mullin, White Noise Machine, Amanda Hiebert) on stage. Shane Koyczan, who was the people?s favourite at Words Aloud 1, joins us again, after an intense year of touring. For a definition of slam poetry go to



Besides our regular workshops all day Saturday, ending with a featured workshop by Lorna Crozier, Cree poet Louise Bernice Halfe is hosting a workshop at the M'Wikwedong Native Cultural Centre in Owen Sound.


I hope you?ll also join me to enjoy the lyrical Lorna Crozier and Canadaís current poet laureate John Steffler. Nigerian writer-in-exile Amatoritsero (Ama) Ede's poetry is extremely powerful. I canít wait to see Ivan Coyote, one of Canadaís best storytellers, and amazing dub poet Clifton Joseph. Dr. Poetry Robert Priest, Cree poet Louise Bernice Halfe and Pakistani storyteller Rukhsana Khan will also bring their charms to the main stage. Shane Koyczan will close the festival on Sunday afternoon, November



Spoken word poet Ian Ferrier returns this year, this time as consultant to our Documentary Project. Ian will be interviewing performers and advising us on spoken word matters. Our documentary production team (Myke Dyer and myself) will be directing the shooting of the whole festival and parts of the workshops. We hope you?ll enjoy being part of the documentary project, which plans to create a video archive; an educational DVD for schools; and a feature documentary. We?ll be video-taping all performances and you may be on camera, so if you don?t wish to be video-taped, you can advise any one of the producers before performances video-taping all performances and you may be on camera, so if you don?t wish to be video-taped, you can advise any one of the producers before performances begin.



Online ticket sales

You can purchase tickets online and take advantage of discounted festival packages and a limited number of scholarships for the workshops.


Festival Program

Look for the October Mosaic - weíll be on the cover, with the full festival program inside.


Welcome to Kristan

Spoken word poet Kristan Anderson, based in Desboro, is our new Education Ambassador. He'll be visiting high schools in Grey/Bruce to spread the word about the festival and explain what a poetry slam is. He will be pleased to give a live demonstration for any class he visits. Teachers who would like to invite Kristan to their school can contact him at Kristan will also be the Words Aloud host at the Owen Sound Library's Poetry Slam on November 3rd.


Thanks to our Funders, Sponsors, Donors and Volunteers

Funding provided by: The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, Heritage Canada, the Municipality of West Grey, The League of Canadian Poets, and the Ministry of Tourism. Welcome to new sponsors: Rogers TV, Gary Buyers, Dunlop, Johnson & Pust Barristers & Solicitors, the Hanover Public Library, The Colour Jar, Spruce Ridge School, Above Stedmans, the Ms Centre, and the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library. Welcome back to returning sponsors: South Grey Bruce Youth Literacy Council, M'Wikwedong Native Cultural Centre, PEN Canada, the Durham Art Gallery, United Media Arts, Edgehill Country School, Ann Wylie Toal Designs, Image Business, Millennia Books, The Garafraxa Street Bookstore, Chicory Common CafSPAN>, Mosaic and Akimbo. We?re also grateful to our donors and our amazing volunteer community.


Hope to see you in November!


Liz Zetlin, co-artistic director, Words Aloud Festival



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