|Since February, local poets have been competing in the monthly Calgary Poetry Slam, stunning sold-out audiences (yes, there is such a thing as a sold-out poetry show) with powerful wordplay. Now, after the Slam Finals in July, the Calgary Slam Team has been announced! Wakefield Brewster, Jordan Dack, Sabo and Kirk Ramdath will travel to Toronto in October to represent Calgary in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. This will be the first Slam team from Alberta to participate in a national competition. Theyll be joining teams from Toronto, Vancouver and all across Canada to show the rest of the country that Calgary is a hotbed of poetic prowess! Visit www.calgaryspokenwordfestival.com to watch for your chance to cheer our boys to victory.
If you were on Stephen Avenue a couple of weeks ago, you may have seen a painter happily working away in a converted RV. That proud vehicle is the TRUCK Gallerys CAMPER (Contemporary Art Mobile Public Exhibition Rig), and its travelling to five different Calgary festivals over the next few months as part of the Patch Project. Five artists from different backgrounds will each be running a public workshop. If you participate, not only will you get to create totally unique artwork, but youll also receive a special edition patch designed by the facilitating artist.
This week, local visual poet derek beaulieu visits Reggaefest with Poetics as Objects, where participants are invited to create handmade books and investigate the intersection of visual art and literature. Join him at Shaw Millennium Park between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to join in, and check out www.truck.ca to find out more about the Patch Project.
If youve ever wanted to put your writing (and yourself) onstage, the Calgary Fringe Festival is the place to be. On August 18, Alberta Playwrights Network is hosting Flying Solo! at the Company of Rogues (1232 17th Avenue S.W.). Moderated by renowned playwright Sharon Pollock, the free panel features four solo Fringe performers (Colette Kendall, Lisa Olafson, David Trimble and Nicole Zylstra). Theyll chat about the ins-and-outs of creating, producing and performing one-person shows; a rare behind-the-scenes treat!
Also at the Fringe, aspiring writers should check out Graphic Lines: Adventure of a Freak Magnet. Its a play about Jen, who decides to use her long history of bad dates, bad decisions and bad luck to write a graphic novel. Theres a warning for drug use, coarse language and controversial subject matter, which all sounds like a good time to me. Its in the Big Secret Theatre (Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts) August 17 at 8:00 pm, August 18 at 7:15 p.m. and August 19 at 5:15 p.m. For more on this and all things Fringe, pop over to www.calgaryfringe.com.
Oh, by the way hi! Im Mark Hopkins and Ive just taken the reins of the fair steed Bookends, so youll be seeing a lot of me in this space. I absolutely thrive on art, literature in particular, so you and I are going to have some fun in the coming months. If youre ever at an event where someone points out an impossibly handsome fellow and says "Hey, isnt that the Bookends guy?" feel free to come say hello Im friendly!
Finally, dont forget: Blow-Out 2 is coming up fast! More information on that next week, but if you cant wait, check out www.fillingstation.ca.