Somewhere between a Shakespearean soliloquy and freestyle rap, spoken word is about being interactive and fun, said Missie Peters, Victoria Spoken Word Festival director.
The 5th annual Victoria Spoken Word Festival takes place Feb. 23 to March 1. This year, 12 favourite poets from previous years are returning to form an all-star ensemble.
“[The poets] take workshops every day on something that has nothing to do with spoken word, and then they do a show inspired by what they learned that night,” said Peters.
The first night, Tuesday Feb. 24, the ensemble will have one hour to write and perform poems based on a secret prompt. This year’s theme will have something to do with brewing, Peters hinted. The audience will then judge which poem they liked best.
Other events include a metaphors and monologues night on Feb. 25, and poems done in collaboration with dancers from Victoria’s Broken Rhythms on Feb. 26.
“Each poet in the ensemble will work with a dancer to put poetry and dance together in a performance,” said Peters.
Victoria’s new poet laureate Yvonne Blomer and the city’s youth poet laureate Zoe Duhaime will also be performing at the festival.
“There’s always something that you’re not expecting,” said Peters. “[Spoken word] is somewhere on the continuum of a Shakespearean soliloquy, which has all of that emotive power and deep visceral feeling, and freestyle rap, which has all of this immediacy, rhythm and a lot of relevancy to our own world.”
Tickets are on sale at ticketrocket.org/vswf2015. A festival pass for all shows is $45, while single tickets are $15 or $12 for students. Festival passes must be presented 10 minutes before showtime; after that, admission is not guaranteed.
For more information, go online to missiepeters.ca/festival.