Reppin' Toronto at CFSW07: Truth Is...
There are few people in this world that will get you thinking like Truth Is... when she graces the stage. Her words are delivered with poise and power, and are guaranteed to shake you to the core.
Truth Is... is one of the ten poets representing Toronto at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Halifax this year. Toronto will be sending two teams — one from Dave Silverberg's Toronto Poetry Slam scene and one from Dwayne Morgan's Up From the Roots scene — to compete against teams from across the country all vying for spoken word supremacy.
If last year's CFSW in Toronto was any indication, this year's competition is going to be incredibly intense and will feature some of the best spoken word anyone in this country has ever seen.
I had the opportunity to have an email exchange with some of the poets — Truth Is... being one of them — representing Toronto at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Halifax this year and ask them a few questions about what they expect from the upcoming experience. Of course, since they're poets, I'm including their answers verbatim: why mess with a poet's own mastery of the language?
Here's what Truth Is... had to say:
When did you start to get involved in the spoken word scene? What got you interested in the first place?
Out of the blue I was invited to a Martin Luther King Jr birthday celebration, which is where I saw Ozi Ljeh perform. To be concise she was simply astounding! I was only rapping at the time and I remember turning to my cousin and saying, "Yo! I wanna do something like that!" and a while later. I did. I believe it may have been in 2002.
later on that same year I was writing something which my then drama teacher overheard, she was pretty taken back by it and suggested I audition for the black history assembly. From that point I was just doing school assemblies with the occasional Up From the Roots': Root's Lounge open Mic. I wasn't until April of 2006 that I started slamming on the Toronto Poetry Slam scene.
How has the spoken word community in Toronto help you develop your poetry and how has it influenced other parts of your life?
They say practice makes perfect, and that's one of the many things I've gotten from this community; The opportunity to better myself at what I love do-- which is communicate with people.
I see how poetry has influence my life when I see how I relate to myself & others, because you have to be about more that just talking the talk; you have to walk the path you verbally chose.
How does it feel to represent Toronto in Halifax this year? What are your goals for this year's CFSW?
Amazing! It feels great knowing I'm getting another chance to help Toronto be recognized and nurture the Canadian spoken word scene as a whole in a completely different city. Unfortunately It's not like a plethora of spoken word albums are readily available to be purchased in stores, pretty much everything is has to be hand to hand, so it's also an opportunity to hear so much more awe-inspiring poetry than what I'm use to just being in Toronto.
My goals are simple: Participate in as many workshops & learn as much as I can; of course meet/ network, supporting as much of the unfamiliar talent as possible, win and most importantly Enjoy myself-- I've never been to Halifax, so I'll most definitely be taking in the city.
And now for some fun...extended metaphor time: if you were to compare your poetry to a reality TV show, what reality show would you choose, and why?
I don't watch very much television, but if I were to compare my poetry to anything it's be life itself. It reflects and invokes the moods of those around, it grows and changes, and will be remembered or forgotten like the ideas we were founded on.
Truth Is... is one of the ten poets representing Toronto at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Halifax this year. Keep checking blogTO for more updates about the festival and Toronto's progress during the competition.
Truth Is... wil be featuring at Coffeehouse Cabaret tonight at the Renaissance Cafe on Danforth. The show kicks off at 8:30pm, and will also feature Arthur Renwick. More information is available at the TPS listings and the Facebook event page.
Support Toronto's poets by attending the Up From The Roots Fundraiser on October 9 at Cervejaria at 8pm (more info on FB).
(Photo by Sevrina Fernandes Milne.)
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