Wanted: poets and storytellers
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 06:00 am
Keep your eyes peeled. Once again Story-Slam St. Albert Style is about to entertain, educate, elucidate and explode right before your eyes.
As part of StArts Fest, St. Albert’s version of Alberta Culture Days running September 28 to 30, the prose and poetry slam is a rejuvenating, at times comical way to experience the power of the spoken word through storytelling.
Still in the planning stages, organizers are searching for 10 energetic storytellers to entertain the boisterous crowd with five-minute gems on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. in Ric’s Grill on Perron.
It’s also an opportunity for spectators to become involved. Three judges will be selected randomly from the audience and the top two winners will be awarded prizes.
It was first introduced last year as a try-out event. But judging by the packed restaurant, organizers quickly realized the slam had created a loud buzz even before its official start.
“People were coming to Ric’s Grill with a sense of anticipation and a feeling of something new. There was lots of support from the community,” says slam organizer Sandra Mooney-Ellerbeck.
“It was an opportunity for poets and writers to show their work in front of a live audience that cheered them on, and they were fuelled by the energy and creative interaction between audience and presenter. Everybody still talks about it. And the atmosphere at Ric’s really fit with this kind of acoustic presentation.”
Last year’s top dog was Jason Norman, an experienced, multiple story-slam winner who cultivated his own polished formula and technique. Contenders searching to unseat him might want to examine his style.
“He has a strong sense of humour and you see it in his stories. His presence is very outgoing, charismatic and entertaining,” says Mooney-Ellerbeck.
A second spoken word activity is also on the agenda as a lead-in to the slam. The Art Gallery of St. Albert is hosting Poetry on Perron on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.
Again Mooney-Ellerbeck is challenging 10 poets to share a platter of their poetry – anything ranging from traditional rhyming to modern free verse.
“It’s very difficult to get rhyming that works. It’s actually a craft. With poets like Robert Frost, you don’t even notice it. In some ways the spoken word is more like rap without the music,” Mooney-Ellerbeck adds.
As both a poet and a writer, she has a strong personal investment in producing top-notch events.
“Poetry and stories are our lifeline and we connect to each other through story. Poetry is more emotional whereas stories give more detail. But both story and poetry bond humanity and that’s what this festival is all about.”
To register for Story-Slam St. Albert Style and Poetry on Perron visit www.startsfest.ca/literary-theatre.