FLOURISH! Creating Bold Communities Through Art: Discussion and Showcase

Friday May 3rd
5-6:30 pm – Discussion
8-10pm – Performance Showcase and Open Mic

Location: Pacific Cafe, 10874 97 Street, Edmonton
Facebook Event

DISCUSSION – 5:00pm-6:30pm

Why do we make art?
How do we define community?
What role does our art play in the commuity? How can we use art to build community?
In our art, do we have to be accountable to our audience/community?
As organizers, how can we create safer/inclusive/accessible spaces?

This discussion is open to artists, organizers and community members who are interested in building community through art. We will invite each participant to talk about our own experiences, what we’ve learned from our practices as artists and/or organizers, and tools and suggestions for the future.


Entrance by donation, with proceeds going to venue and performers.

Kathryn Lennon
Lindsay Jack Brauweiler
Janice Lee
More performers to be announced soon!

We welcome new voices to share on the Open Mic!

If you would like to perform, please contact kathrynlennon@gmail.com

Youth Story Slam!


What is Story Slam?

Imagine a stage where readers tell a compelling story before an audience and judges, and the person with the best tale wins. OK, now imagine a clock ticking down from five minutes. That’s Story Slam.

In this two-day event, writer-in-residence and 2012 and 2013 Story Slam champion Omar Mouallem will teach a youth the craft– which is half literature and half performance art — and invite them back the next day for a public presentation of their stories and cash prizes.

Edmonton Story Slam has been a staple of the local arts scene since 2008 but it’s never before been opened to youth. This special collaboration marks the first time teenagers have been given the stage to tell the stories that matter to them.

When Workshopping stories (teens only): Saturday, May. 18, 1:30-3:30 pmCompetition (open to public): Sunday, May. 19, 1:30-3:30 pm
Where Strathcona Branch
Cost Free
Register……………………. Drop in without registration, however, two-day commitment of participants is required.

Photos of Carl Honoré, Conni Massing, & Curtis Gillespie

For both writers and readers, nothing’s as great as author visits to libraries!

Manager Heather Dolman introducing Carl

Manager Heather Dolman introducing Carl

Carl Honoré

Carl Honoré

Manager Heather Dolman introducing Carl

Carl reading from The Slow Fix


Speaking to an enthralled audience.

Signing books!

Signing books!


Carl and me…Carl and I? Better brush up on my grammar!

Conni Massing & Curtis Gillespie


Hanging out before the start of the event


St. Albert’s director, Peter Bailey


Peter and manager Heather Dolman


A brief Q & A


Conni, talking about her buffalo gals


Curtis and his story of the trip to Mexico


Chatting with readers & fans


Book signing

Spoken Word Poetry: ‘The performance becomes the final Amen.’

Spoken word poetry takes the art form back to its origins as oral storytelling with a dose of performance art. But when you turn it into a competition and pin poets against each other, slam poetry ensues.

On April 28 at 1:15 pm, the EPL and Edmonton Poetry Festival present an intimate conversation on the craft with members of the Breath in Poetry collective, a homegrown team of spoken word poets and national slam champions. The event is right before the closing event for Poetry Festival, a youth reading with spoken word poet Mary Pinkoski.

To whet your appetite, I asked BIP members and next week’s guests Ahmed Ali (also known as Knowmadic) and Titilope Sonuga answered a few questions about the art form.

How much of spoken word is about poetry and how much is about performance?

Titi: Spoken word is 100 percent poetry and 100 percent performance. The true mark of a great spoken word artist is someone who can make words move on the page and on the stage. Before a spoken word poet makes their way to the front of a microphone, they have done the hard work of carefully crafting the poetry. The performance becomes the final Amen.

Ahmed: Spoken word poetry is an equal balance of both poetry and performance. A great writer can draw out emotions from the audience regardless of their performance. Likewise, a poet with the stage presence of an actor, comedian or musician can place more emphasis on performance but still be an exceptional poet.

What’s been the highlight of your slam poetry and spoken word artistic career?

Ahmed: Becoming the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Champion in 2011.

Titi: Getting to perform my work at the 2011 Chinua Achebe Colloquium on Africa, and meeting Maya Angelou last year.

Why do you think it seems to appeal more to young people?

Titi: There’s a lot of freedom in spoken word. You have the opportunity to experiment and to explore. There’s a kind of swagger that comes with being able to put words together in a way that is exciting to listen to. I would add that I’ve had great response to my work from a wide cross section of people. I think everyone can find a nugget of truth in spoken word, no matter how old they are.

Ahmed: Because young people are heavily involved. I am sure if young people were to perform written poetry, it would be appealing to the youth as well. However, spoken word has the ability to draw out emotions from people because it involves personal experiences and is heavily infused with emotion and expression.

Brain Fire – #YEG Reads

I asked a few university students what they’re reading in preparation for final exams…and their answers reminded me why I’m glad I’m out of school!

Jenielle M:
A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
A Clash of Kings – George R.R. Martin
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Psychology 2nd edition – Schacter, Gilbert, and Wegner

Ronita C:
Campbell Biology – Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, and Jackson
Human Sexuality: In a World of Diversity – Spencer A. Rathus
The Englishman’s Boy – Guy Vanderhaeghe
Stats: Data and Models – De Veaux, Velleman, Bock, Vukov, and Wong
Women’s Voices: Classic and Contemporary Readings – Shaw and Lee
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Michelle H:
Becker’s World of the Cell – Hardin et al.
Organic Chemistry 10th edition – Solomons and Fryle, John Wiley & Sons.
Physics Custom 2nd edition – James S. Walker
Longman Anthology of World Literature. Vol. C: The Early Modern Period. 2nd ed. – Tylus, Jane, and Damrosch

Ashley B:
Physics 4th Ed. – Walker
Stats: Data and Models – De Veaux
Organic Chemistry – Solomons and Fryhle
Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
A Single Man – Christopher Isherwood
Sloppy Firsts – Megan McCafferty
Blue Bloods: Gates of Paradise – Melissa De la Cruz
(Story of an Hour – Kate Choplin
The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
Shooting an Elephant – George Orwell
Good Country People – Flannery O’Connor
Sonnet 18 – Shakespeare, Sonnet 43 – Browning, Sonnet 18 – Millay
In Broad Daylight – Ha Jin
The Witch Mask – Yumiko Kurahashi
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock – T.S. Elliot
Daddy – Sylvia Plath
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? – Joyce Carol Oates
Wild Swans – Alice Munro)

Kirsten S:
Chemistry 6th Ed. – Silberberg
Elementary Linear Algebra 10th Ed. – Anton
Calculus 7th Ed. – Stewart
Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics 13th Ed. – Hibbeler
Economics Today 5th Ed. – Miller
Engineering Mechanics: Statistics 12th Ed. – Hibbeler
Fudamentals of Physics 9th Ed – Walker
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

Kim P:
Daytripper – Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
Chronicles of the Death Foretold – Gabriel Marquez
Understanding Social Problems – Linda Mooney
Rhinoceros – Eugene Ionesco

#YEG Reads – Book Sellers

Wondering what it is that book sellers read? Check it out:

© Calimero | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Calimero | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Good Boy Fergus by  David Shannon ~ Jeff

The Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy ~ Christina

The Mysteries of Harris Burdock by Chris Van Allsburg ~ Peter

I Want my Hat Back by John Klassen ~ Hong

The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone ~Erin