1. Q&A with Deonte Osayande, Detroit-based slam poet

    CC: Tell about how your new poem, “Ghost of a Child” came about?

    DO: How that poem came to be, well the last requirement for my bachelor’s degree was for me to teach second graders for this previous semester. I saw and experienced so muc and I wanted to write about it but nothing I wrote satisfied me. One day, I’m on lunch break, and I’m taking a nap and one of my students walks in to ask me a question. I smell something and wake up to see my pupil standing there, with a dirty holed shirt on, late for school, asking me what they had missed. It stuck with me. So I went home after the school day ended and wrote that memory down. Then I wrote some of what I remembered when I was that age. I wanted to have an extra challenge other then to just write that story out, and I’m a fan of [sestinas] so I figured make this poem into one. That’s where it started from.

    Read the full Q&A HERE.

     
  2. "Ottawa Youth Bring Slam Poetry to Glebe Streets" by Matt Lee (Photo courtesy of Arrdeejayy)

    Dodging dust and construction debris, several youth from the Ottawa Youth Slam Poetry Team brought their words to the masses as part of the Glebe Streets Festival. 

    The festival was held Sept. 9 and 10 as a means to generate foot traffic in an area of town that has seen streets ripped up since spring.  For those two days, the sounds of heavy machinery were replaced by the chatter of passers-by, the snarl of skateboard wheels on a mini-ramp, and the voices of local talent performing in a variety of locations.

    One of those voices was Monique Simonot, a first-year psychology student at the University of Ottawa. Having previously confined her poetry to paper, Simonot now finds that slam poetry provides a platform to express her thoughts to a broad audience.

    “I think [it’s] is an excellent way to get your ideas across and to inform the public,” she said.

    She came to the slam poetry scene as a means of stepping out of the typical university party mould. “I went to a poetry slam, [event] and immediately felt like I fit in,” she said, “It wasn’t like the other [parties] I had been to at that point.”

    Simonot is also combining her love of slam poetry with her degree, using her performances to talk about mental illness and the stigmas attached to it.

    “For me, it’s a way to reach a wider audience than I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.” Read More…