#POFEST16 in Poetry Central!

Churchill Square is vibrant and coming alive with the voices of Edmonton!

Poetry Central

Image courtesy of @PopularPrintEDM

The concrete is the perfect foundation for the language of the city. Festival goers take a moment to pick up a piece of chalk and leave a lasting impression on the square of their presence and their words. Nancy Inostroza become poetry by gracing the space with the poetic movements of Nia, a mix of martial arts, dance, and healing. Embracing art in its graphic form is The Landing with zine poetry-making and embroidery. Local poet Marina Reid Hale’s contagious enthusiasm is shown by encouraging others to create poetry with refrigerator magnets of over one hundred words. Marina also hosts the Open Mic portion of the event, which has given exposure to more up-and-coming poets than imagined. Marina is ecstatic: “What makes me more excited than reading my own poetry is giving others the mic to read theirs!” Other poets use the space in different ways, as Rowan EB does by creating a labyrinth and inviting people to walk though it. Festival goers can walk away with a piece of the experience by getting a Short-Order Poem created for them by talented writers or by participating in the PoFest Little Free Library and walking away with a different book than the one they came with. Lastly, everyone has a chance to win something by sharing their talents. The Business Card Haiku contest allows people to create their own haiku on business cards for a draw. Assistant producer Katrine Nielson spontaneously creates a spin-off of this, by calling people to create and perform their haiku on the spot into the mic. The amount of people bursting with eloquence and innovation is astounding.

Visible is the fire coursing through the veins of our volunteers. They have great talent, dedication, and an eagerness to share the spirit of the festival. Teamwork sets the festival in motion and wouldn’t be possible without it.

Festival Assistant Producer Katrine Nielsen is ecstatic to see the square coming to life with her poetic vision. She rallies her team and inspires everyone to participate, create, and become poetry. She gives everyone permission to believe in impossible dreams.

This is a blog post by special guest, Assistant Square Intern Alyssa Azul. Welcome her!