Sticks and stones may break bones, but words have the power to heal.
Words and women will be celebrated on Thursday, Dec. 6 at Word To The Mutha, a spoken word event that brings together young and veteran writers to find strength and joy in art.
Dec. 6 marks the anniversary of the 1989 massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal, which left 14 women dead at the hands of a male student who claimed to be fighting feminism.
Word to the Mutha is intended to be an uplifting and empowering event to both recognize violence against women, and to celebrate the healing and transformative power of the written word.
“It’s a time to turn all of that sorrow and all of that struggle and all of that hate from people that don’t understand,” Rogers said. “It’s an opportunity to kind of heal that and also turn it around and turn it into a positive.”
The show is a fundraiser for Antidote, a networking organization for multiracial and Indigenous girls and women in Victoria. It has been hosting writing workshops in the lead-up to the Mutha event, to inspire and inform young women. The money raised will go back into leadership programming for young women.
For the first half of the event young women from the workshops will be presenting their works.
“That’s going to be really, really exciting,” Rogers said. “Youth in general really have got their finger on the pulse of issues within the urban centres, and globally too. So it’s really good to hear from them, from that perspective.”
The second half of the night features spoken word and hip-hop from the featured performers. Rogers will perform, along with former Victoria poet laureate Linda Rogers, 2012 Victoria Poetry Slam champion Jeremy Loveday and hip-hop poet Autokrat.
“It’s a good mix of elder, matriarch poets and then something appealing for the young people as well,” Rogers said.
After the readings, audience members will have the opportunity to bid on having the poet of their choice write a piece of work just for them.
The winning bidder will consult with the poet on what sort of theme or intention they want the poem to have. The poet will then create a unique, original work exclusively for the lucky bidder.
A small book is planned for production in the new year that will feature both the works of the young poets and the poems written for the auction by the featured performers.
The event takes place at Solstice Café, 529 Pandora Ave. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the event runs from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission is by donation.
Antidote is hosting a writing workshop on Saturday, Dec. 1 for multiracial and indigenous youth aged 12 to 18 which runs from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Victoria West Community Centre, 521 Craigflower Rd. Snacks and bus tickets will be available. For more information visit antidotenetwork.org.