Award-winning spoken word artists Lucia Misch and Jillian Christmas are coming to the Sunshine Coast. While here, they will perform Poetry Out Loud at the Arts Centre on Jan. 19 and facilitate writing workshops for youth on Jan. 20. Produced by Sunday In The Park With Pride, the workshops are intended for LGBTQ2 youth and their youth allies. While the workshops are free, pre-registration is required.
Lucia Misch is no stranger to writing, performing and facilitating workshops, having got her start in spoken word at age 15. “My mom saw an ad in the local paper for writing workshops,” recalls Misch. “In a kind of unusual move, I listened to my mother – something I didn’t do a lot of at the time. I started going to these weekly workshops and got totally hooked.” A couple of years later, Misch was crowned the champion youth poet of the South Bay area near San Jose. A couple of years after that, at 19, she was facilitating her first workshops at a local LGBTQ2 community centre. “Teenagers are not the most listened-to demographic,” says Misch, who is now based in Vancouver. “I really enjoyed [using] what I had learned being a participant to help people get introduced to spoken word and get excited about it. At the end of the day the goal of the workshops is to open up [and] express yourself in the way that only you can.”
Spoken word poetry has very much come into its own, at least with audiences, if not academia, successfully engaging people across gender, class, age, and ethnicities. “The growing visibility and popularity of spoken word speaks to the fact that literary poetry – what’s been accepted by the academy and taught to us in school – is coming from a very narrow set of standards and a pretty narrow set of people and experiences,” says Misch. “And not everybody relates to those experiences.” Misch herself writes about diverse topics including historical and current events as well as personal experiences. While Misch writes for “the page” and “the stage,” the immediate connection and feedback with the audience of spoken word makes it “exhilarating. [Jillian and I] are both writers who think it’s really important to bring our full selves onto the stage and be vulnerable, to take risks, to speak our minds,” says Misch. “We care very much about what the experience of seeing us perform is for the audience.”
Lucia Misch and Jillian Christmas perform at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:30pm. Suggested donation $10. All welcome. Spoken word workshops run Saturday, Jan. 20 from 10:30am to 2:30pm at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt. Workshops are open to LGBTQ2 youth and their youth allies and are free, but space is limited so pre-registration is required. Contact Laurie to register: email@example.com or call 604-740-8110. More information at prideguide.ca