Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hello everyone. This blog is no longer active, in case you haven't noticed. Please look us up on Facebook or on the Victoria Poetry Project website.

Also, you can email us here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tattoos of Heartache and Joy... Tristan De Plume

Well, well, well ToF fans, we've reached the saddest part of spring - that time when Tongues of Fire goes on summer vacation! Of course, that means summer... so it can't be all that sad. Especially since we're having a big party before we say good-bye. Our last show of the season is gonna be a twofer featuring our very lovely own Megan Ann Ward, as well as VanCity's delightful Tristan De Plume - who was a member of the 2010 last chance Wild Card Team at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and badassed the score cards right out of the judges' hands with their one minute poem at this year's VanSlam Finals (which you can watch here). We took a moment to have a lil' webular chitchat Tristan, which we share here now with you...

Let's slap a label on you: Poet? Performer? Spoken Word Artist? Slam Poet? And let's take that label off (cuz labels aren't nice): now who are you? How do you see yourself in the world?

Lets call me a poet. I even went to school for it, but I really hope you won't hold that against me. I went to school for lots of things and poetry is actually one of the more useful ones. Next after that was the air brake ticket (I used to be a garbage man). They say a law degree is useful. I'm not convinced. So far it has only been expensive and very unpleasant to earn.

If you were to tattoo a poem to your body, what poem (or excerpt) would it be?

If I were to tattoo a poem on my body it would be the first fourteen lines of the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English. That's pretty much the most pretentious thing I can think of. There are some Latin maxims that would come a close second: Cava canem eretus auris.

How did you feel the first time you stepped up a mic to read what you had written? How long ago was that?

I can't really remember my first mic. It was probably at a CUPE convention. I'm sure it felt just fine. I never really got the hang of stage fright. I do remember my first slam. I got a ten for my first poem and thought- well this is alright. Looking back I can't believe how cocky I was. I'm not an arrogant jerk. There is a reason I don't have Latin maxims tattooed all over myself.

What's the next poetry-related goal you want to fulfill?

Up next is this terrible little idea for a novel that I parked in 2000 when my thesis got in the way. I feel like I haven't really been able to write it until now. I'm not sure my evil boyfriend Law School is going to let me work on it though. When I'm writing I need to stay up late. That lifestyle doesn't really meet the 9am class very well.

Who is someone that really inspires you? Why?

Poets at the youth slam inspire me. Poets who are really risky and daring about their work inspire me. Religious people who take orders, or secular outreach workers who go into the service of others inspire me- but not for evangelism, for basic human service. It is such an antiquated idea but it used to be what all the younger sons did. Religious service is kind of the fate most of us escaped when the world changed. I really admire people who actually still do that.

Can you tell us about the poem you haven't written yet? And what are the subjects that are really engage you?

I haven't written many funny poems. Agony just comes. Comedy needs to be worked at and I'm sorry to admit that I am a pretty lazy poet. I write well about pain and loneliness and heart break and longing because they come so easily. I have the hardest time writing about joy. I feel like I don't know it very well and I get it sort of wrong when I put it down in text. Or faith. Those two cats are complicated. I feel like sadness is the easy way out. It takes real daring to write faith and joy. They make us so vulnerable.

We run your poetry through the ice-cream maker: what flavour do we get at the business end?

Strawberry with bits of typewriter.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Warmest Heart in a Cold City... Mary Pinkoski

Alright ToF fans! While we were grooving to the last show's open mic and feature performance, Mary Pinkoski was busy becoming the 2011 Grand Slam Champion of Edmonton - meaning she'll be leading this year's Edmonton Slam Team to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Toronto. And while she may call Edmonton home, she lives in many of our hearts here in Victoria. So please welcome Mary Pinkoski to our digital couch...

Let's slap a label on you: Poet? Performer? Spoken Word Artist? Slam Poet?

Label makers are awesome things when you are moving or filing things or doing taxes or just generally organizing. I have a lot to organize, generally, that just generally needs organizing. Is this getting complicated? Labels are complicated, unless you are just looking for your toaster after a move.

I guess if I were moving, I would put myself in the spoken word poet box. Hopefully, someone would find me there...if they were looking.

And let's take that label off ('cuz labels aren't nice): now who are you? How do you see yourself in the world?

Well, my bio reads that I am spoken word poet from Edmonton, Alberta. So I guess at the simplest level, that is who I am. However, I like to think that each of us contains so many stories and mythologies of who we are and all of them contain truths about ourselves. And we are all doing our best to sort them out and make some sense of where we find ourselves in the world.

So I guess I just see myself as one more bee hive of a person in this world. And, with all these stories/memories buzzing around the apiary of me, I keep hoping that poetry will be my beekeeper and sort me out, pull the light and the memories out of me and make something sweet. And I am still learning that you can make honey out of more than one kind of flower.

Sorry, I kind of went off on a tangent there. I am spoken word poet from Edmonton.

Edmonton really hit the national stage running at last year's Canadian Festival of Spoken Word: What's the local scene looking like in your neck of the woods?

The Edmonton scene is growing and diversifying. It is an amazing thing. The Breath in Poetry Collective, spearheaded by Titilope Sonuga, is doing fantastic things here. We have great team to take to CFSW this year, with two returning members (myself and Ahmed Ali) and two new members (Colin Matty and Liam Coady). I am super excited to begin working with the new team and bring our best to Toronto for CFSW.

How did you feel the first time you stepped up a mic to read what you had written? How long ago was that?

Oh wow! That was awhile ago. I read at a few open mics in 2004/2005, but if we are talking slam and competitions I didn't start doing that until 2006 and I did about one a year. Now I do things a bit more regularly. I hope I am getting better.

The first time I went to read was at a slam in Calgary and I drove all the way there from Edmonton and I got terrified and went back to my car and drove home. So the first time was a 'no go' haha. It was terrifying!

I guess what I am trying to say is that I understand and appreciate how much courage it takes to get up and read your poems or talk or share a story, and we should really honor that bravery because no matter what our first time story is, we have all been there. And then we should all move on from our first time gaffs, so we have the chance make 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 150th time mistakes because it all just about learning and growing.

What's the next poetry-related goal you want to fulfill?

I have so many things that I want to do. Most importantly, I hope to continue to put myself in situations that challenge me to expand my writing and grow as a writer. That being said, I would like to begin to work on a cohesive body of work that is thematically-based.

Who is someone that really inspires you? Why?

I have been so fortunate to have so many mentors in my life for writing. I really attribute my success to them. Can I just list a few here?

Sheri-D Wilson (Calgary) – I would be nowhere without her encouragement and mentorship and the opportunities for growth in my writing that she has given me.

Jack McCarthy (Seattle/Boston) – I met Jack at a poetry festival in Edmonton and we got on like prairie fire. He is so supportive and helped me get my first shows in the States. He is a master storyteller and I aspire to weave stories like him.

Regie Cabico (Washington, D.C./New York) – Regie is my constant and my encouragement. I would not be writing what I am writing today without the love and support of Regie.

Evalyn Parry (Toronto) – Evalyn taught me to breathe and defined open for me, in both performance and life. I am forever indebt and eternally grateful to Evalyn and her magical powers.

Those are some people that have been great to me. However, I try to learn a little bit from everyone I come across.

Can you tell us about the poem you haven't written yet?

Let me write an off-the-top of my head poem to answer this... (because free writes are always fun and it is good to expose people to your creative process and they are a nice thing to take away from written least for the poet)

The poem I haven't written yet sits
like a weight on my chest, warning:
I could break you open at any moment

I get nervous with anticipation, itchy
with anxiety in my blood
when I think of this poem

The poem I haven't written yet waits
behind every corner, in every dark doorway
it is everything they told you not to talk to,
not to eat, not to touch, not to look at directly

This poem is a poster in a police office,
the face of the missing child in a mall,
an amber alert snapping the city into awareness

The poem I haven't written yet is buried
with the fossils of protozoa, stretched along
rock-pressed images of plankton, floating in
oil rivers under the sand

One can only hope that sand will turn itself
into a mirror, that rocks will excavate themselves,
and show me this poem I have yet to write

The poem I have yet to write lays sleeping
stretched out like a cat along
the sunshine hallway of my trachea
some days I think the cat will awake
and purr my vocal chords into vibrations
that actually say something

This poem longs to peel back the lazy sunblock lotion
of my fingers, wants to shine its light beams
all the way into my hands and hold them to the fire of the sun

It yells, "write me down." It runs through my blood writing,
"say me out loud."

This poem that I haven't written yet is there
It is always there, just beyond my reach
but I haven't stopped trying to grab it

What are the subjects that are really engage you?

I have a penchant for historical things and stories that make up our country. I work in a living history museum part-time, so I find the stories of people that are the fabric this country fascinating and something that should be shared.

I am also fascinated by the topic of light. Finally, is there any other poem than a love poem? Love, in all its forms, is always close to the tip of my tongue, the tip of my typing fingers, the tip of my pen.

We run your poetry through the ice-cream maker: what flavour do we get at the business end?

Hardest question ever! I would say you get the following: equal parts heart of a bird and love of a garden, with a dash of light. Hopefully it melts somewhere good.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Out of the Shadows... Luke Maynard

Have you had a chance to recover from the Victoria Spoken Word Festival yet? We hope so, because Tongues of Fire keeps rolling along strongly, with the long awaited return Luke Maynard to the ToF stage. Luke used to be a consistant force on the open mic, and returns now to feature in celebration of his new album "Desolation Sound." We had a chance to chat with him... here you go:

"At least one person has called you a modern day Leonard Cohen. What do you say to such a statement?"

I’d say it’s an incredibly generous comparison. I’m flattered by it, though a little bewildered, because Leonard's still alive and well, and more than capable of being his own modern-day version of himself.

What I’d take it to mean, maybe, is that the path my early career has taken shares some resonance with his. We’re both products of the academy, both university English majors, and I think that background shapes the material; we both straddle lines between poetry, song, and storytelling, and sometimes like to kick them down; and we’re both “late bloomers” as far as professional music goes. I don’t think Leonard was published, as a poet or songwriter, before he was thirty, and I’m not much ahead of that.

I think that kind of time horizon brings with it a meditative patience, and I’m most flattered by the comparison because it reassures me that I’m not too old to be reaching this point. It’s easy to look at all the Canadians whose careers take off in their mid-teens—Justin Bieber or Avril Lavigne—and say that if you haven’t made a place for yourself by twenty-five, you’re not going to. But Leonard’s older than Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, you know. He’s older than Superman, for that matter. He just took his time, took a different road, and every time I hear myself in connection with him, it reaffirms that the fast lane isn’t the only road to success. Sometimes it isn’t even the best way.

“Let's slap a label on you: Poet? Performer? Spoken Word Artist? Slam Poet?”

If I have to pick one, “performer” is as good as any, because whatever I choose to do in seclusion (what’s he building in there?), it’s the performing that activates it. I write poetry, songs, stories; I make up crazy ideas, and discover connections between things, between people. But it’s the performance that gives those things life: the act of sharing your work with people is the last step toward finishing it, I think.

Even when you put something on paper, it becomes a kind of performance as soon as you share it with another person. The difference between an amateur poet and a professional poet has nothing to do with “success,” however you choose to measure that: amateur poets are the ones who write it down, then slide it back under their mattress. Professionals are the ones who find a way to get it to people. By my logic, J.D. Salinger was one of the best writers in American history, but for the last forty-five years of his life he was an incredibly talented amateur. Whatever you decide to create in the world, sharing it is what makes it real. That’s why I’d say performer. Every other word describes a genre I work in, but not really what I’m trying to do there.

“And let's take that label off (cuz labels aren't nice): now who are you? How do you see yourself in the world?”

That’s a tough one; it’s hard to really define yourself without a label of one sort or another. That’s why we have labels, right? To describe what makes us different from one another? I guess without a label I’m just a passing observer. I’ve come here to take note of people and the world around me, figure out ways to understand them, come up with some ideas and reflections, and spit them back into the world that spawned them. That idea-charged spittle is my contribution to the world, and one of the ways I pay admission for the ride. I imagine most people are exactly the same—my ideas are just the kind that rhyme and sound best when sung.

“How did you feel the first time you stepped up a mic to read what you had written? How long ago was that?”

I couldn’t even remember. I’ve been an indie showbiz kid my whole life. My Dad was a working musician, and I grew up around stages, microphones, performers. I’ve never really had to deal with stage fright, and being in front of people feels like the most natural thing in the world. Poetry and music don’t come to me quite that naturally, or at least not without a degree of toil, work and refinement; but once all the hard work is done, putting more people in the room doesn’t make it any harder for me.

“What's the next poetry-related goal you want to fulfill?”

On a large scale, I’d like to put literary study and creative writing back together in a real and permanent way. I think everyone who writes poetry could benefit from reading more of it, thinking critically about it, studying the work of different periods, studying the language we write in. At the same time, writing creatively should be a sacred obligation for people like me who make their living researching and analyzing the work of others. Neglect either one of these, and your understanding of the other will suffer.

As academic disciplines, English literature and creative writing are a bit like an awkward senior prom couple: they invariably split up after high school, and seem to have little to do with each other after that. At some schools, they’re represented by different departments in different buildings, and the crosstalk between them is about as awkward as a supermarket conversation with an old ex. I’d really like to see that come to an end someday: one of my professional ambitions is to make a poet out of every scholar, and a scholar out of every poet.
On a smaller scale, in terms of future projects, I’d like to try my hand at collaborating a bit more, especially with local poets and musicians I really admire. Writing has always been a lonely process for me, and working in seclusion for the last year and change has made it more so. I’m fortunate enough to know some incredibly talented people, and I’d love to put our heads together on some material so that I can take partial credit for their brilliance.

“Can you tell us about the poem you haven't written yet?”

I could ruminate on the future—on the direction I might someday go in, or the ideas that haven’t yet come to me...but I imagine it’s more interesting (and accurate) to give you a snapshot of the work I’m trying to finish in the next day and a half: literally, I’m working on a Ginsberg-esque poem for this Thursday’s show on the advent of the big box megastore. Locally speaking, it’s timely because of all the construction at Uptown, but it’s less a critique of specific franchises or stores, and more a critique of the new ways we’re coming to think about commerce.

“What are the subjects that are really engage you?”

What engages me the most, and what I spend the most time writing on, is people, and specifically, what and how they think. We live in a time and place of unprecedented choice: people’s opinions, morals, and value systems are more diverse than they’ve ever been, and it’s getting harder and harder to understand other people unless you’re lucky enough to match their worldview yourself. Making sense of people to other people is one of the gifts that writing gives us, and I can’t think of many things more engaging than putting that to good use.

”We run your poetry through the ice-cream maker: what flavour do we get at the business end?”
That’s easy: Baskin-Robbins Banana Nut ice cream. Now before you accuse me of shilling a brand name, there are reasons for it:

First, it’s a composite mix of things. It’s not homogenous like chocolate or vanilla—it’s made up of all sorts of substances. Nuts. Fruit. The ice cream. The ripple. If all I ever wrote was haiku, vanilla might be a better fit.

Second, the flavour is discontinued—or if they sell it at all, it’s in tiny regional communities in out-of-the-way-places. My poetry feels (to me) like it has a discontinued oldness to it—it comes out antiqued, like a car you can’t buy parts for anymore. I polish my pieces, but even then they don’t come out looking shiny and clean like a spaceship from the new Star Wars movies. They come out looking like a spaceship from the original trilogy: beat-up, covered in dirt, scratched and just the way I like them.

Finally, there’s a famous story about Howard Hughes and Baskin-Robbins Banana Nut ice cream. It’s a beautiful tragedy in miniature, the way Hughes was a beautiful tragedy on a scale larger than life. Ask me about Howard Hughes sometime. I love to tell stories.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fireside Chat with... Chris Gilpin!

It's a big week for poetry in Victoria! The irrepressible Chris Gilpin features at ToF this Thursday, which also just happens to coincide with the Victoria Festival of Spoken Word which runs through to Saturday night, followed by an Achievers Agency show featuring Tanya Davis and Mary Pinkoski! So we sat down with Gilpin, cuz first things first, right?

Triple Threat match between Bob Barker, Happy Gilmore and yourself. Who would win?

Well, Bob Barker neutered my soul down at the crossroads, so I'd like to say I'd get my revenge in such a match, but there's something so damn mythical about that orange-skinned man. I believe he already belongs to the undead and would be unbeatable. Happy Gilmore would probably be too high to care. I'd feed him to Bob and flee.

Tell us a bit about the myriad collaborative projects you have on the go...?

I work with RC Weslowski and Brendan Mcleod in Awesome Face, a kids show for adults. It's a place where we put all our craziest ideas, some work, some don't, but it's never boring. We have big plans, nothing I can be too specific about right now.

RC and I also work with Spillious in a side project we call Iron Long John. It actually might be weirder than Awesome Face. Last time we did a show was centered around inter-species love, people having romantic and sexual relationships with objects.

There've also been numerous one-off collabs with other artists. I like working with other poets and musicians, and pushing beyond the slam. Speaking of which, does anyone know of a guitarist who could play porn-style funk guitar for one poem on Thursday?

Let's slap a label on you: Poet? Performer? Spoken Word Artist? Slam Poet?

I'm a strong proponent of the term Spoken Word, although I'm happily be referred to as simply a poet. A Slam Poet is still something that deep down I don't believe exists, just as I don't believe slam poetry exists, if you really think about it. Slam is a forum, not a genre.

Having said that, Slam Poet has a generally positive connotation these days. When teachers email me asking for slam poets, I know that they want exciting spoken word poets to come in and amaze their students. So if you call me a "Slam Poet", I'll take it as a compliment, while in my head, translating that comment to "poet-who-doesn't-suck".

And let's take that label off (cuz labels aren't nice): now who are you? How do you see yourself in the world?

I am Doctor WTF?! looking to trace the absurdities of the world around me.

How did you feel the first time you stepped up a mic to read what you had written? How long ago was that?

I started performing in earnest in December 2005 at the Vancouver Poetry Slam. It was great. I was hooked right away.

What's the next poetry-related goal you want to fulfill?

I want to write something as good as Al Mader's "Problems in a Box"

Can you tell us about the poem you haven't written yet?

Not really. But I will say that I've been brushing up on my iambic pentameter lately. For realsies.

What are the subjects that really engage you?

It changes, but lately the Culture Wars, and the dogma associated with them, on all sides, has been a recurrent subject.

We run your poetry through the ice-cream maker: what flavour do we get at the business end?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Such Nice People, Really... Show Your Support!

This weeks ToF show features the 2010 Victoria Slam Team! It’s a fundraiser to help send the team to Ottawa for the National Slam and if you were there for their show earlier this year, make sure you see them again on Thursday to pick up your exclusive Slam Team CD. The team is crazy-busy, so we only had time for a few questions…

So... Ottawa, CFSW2010 and the National Slam await. How ya feelin as a team?

Things are coming together! We’re working on team pieces, supporting each other and importantly there is no drama!

What can the ToF & CFSW audiences expect from the 2010 VicSlam team? We know you well as individual poets, of course, but as a team is there anything special you have planned?

You can expect us to bring it! Come to the show and you’ll be the first to see our new team pieces. We think our team is strong enough to surprise some people in Ottawa and add to Victoria's growing reputation as a performance poetry hotspot.

What's the next poetry-related goal you want to fulfill?

Jeremy needs to get his chapbook out (he’s been pushing the release date back for years!) and he’s going to be putting more time into the youth outreach side of things and organizing youth slams here in Victoria. Megan (and possibly Matthew) are working on CD compilations and working with musicians.

We run your poetry through the ice-cream maker: what flavour do we get at the business end?

Some kinda Neopolitan but with extra awesome-sauce!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

2 Dope Boys In A Cadillac -- Season 6 of ToF!

Tongues of Fire -- Season Six kicks off in September (Thursday the 9th, natch!) and we do so in epic poetic style with a DOUBLE TEAM of POETS! It's Johnny Murdoch Macrae and shayne avec i grec, touring as 2 Dope Boys In A Cadillac! These kids give good interview, check it out... and then make sure you're at the Solstice Cafe on Thursday night for the premiere!

* * * * *

You're both dope boys, been running your particular poetic games for years separately... what made you get into this here Cadillac together?

Johnny: The bond we formed working together at the Banff Centre.

Shayne: Sheri-D Wilson’s spoken word program there…

Johnny: I was looking at setting up a tour, and Shayne and I did a great deal of smoking and drinking together, and a day of hiking. After simultaneously yelling poems at Banff from the top of a mountain (Sleeping Buffalo) that overlooks the town, we realized we had something. Shayne said we should tour together. He then said we should tour together ASAP. I couldn't disagree. Pretty soon we were 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac.

Shayne: All signs keep pointing to YES and this whole endeavor is inescapable, really!

What can the ToF audience (discerning folk that they be!) expect from a 2 Dope Boys show? Do you have a style? Or an anti-style, even?

Johnny: Psychedelic Rock Opera. Our style is founded upon a desire to blow minds with Aquemini designs, while remaining inarticulate.

Shayne: I'm hoping the ToF audience has somewhat working knowledge of the Multiverse (which I’m sure they must!), as they're going to be meeting the Johnny MacRae & shayne avec i grec of Earth Prime. Psychedelic and Anthropocalyptic are descriptors that have been used to describe 2 Dope Boys in the past (and future!) and i definitely don't feel a need to refute them, personally.

You claim to be influenced by Bob Holman's tequila, which we do not dispute. Like, at all. Any other influences?

Johnny: Bob Holman's Absinthe.

Shayne: That's like opening Pandora's Box! For me the eternal influences are obvious and have been referenced many times (Saul Williams, Allen Ginsberg and Leonard Cohen). Lately, it's been a wide spectrum…

Johnny: Phillips Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale. Marijuana. Central City Brewing.

Shayne: Jeff Andrew and O’Malley have been amazing musical cohorts along the way, and continually influence me in ways both obvious and not. Ira Lee is way up there for sure (we were hoping to do a show in Montreal with him in December, but he just moved to France), Evelyn Evelyn, Buddy Wakefield, RC Weslowski and Wax Mannequin also…

Johnny: Howe Sound Bailout Bitter. Driftwood Brewery's Crooked Coast. Northfield blues.

Shayne: The new Meatloaf album rocked my world on initial listen, also – so i look forward to some more time with that!

Johnny: … and Outkast.

How did you feel the first time you stepped up a mic to read what you had written? And how long ago was that?

Johnny: Like a fraud. I had to follow on the heels of the Svelte Ms. Spelt, and I'd never seen spoken word before. I was aware how unready I was, and seeing someone so polished and so confident go on stage before me freaked the shit out of me. I suppose I first read my writing about six years ago at an open mic in Montmartre (the night in question with Ms. Spelt), but for me the real first time was the Spillious Speak and Sing at Cottage Bistro, two and a half years ago. I'm like a born again virgin.

Shayne: The first time I read something I’d personally written into a microphone on-stage, I felt quite drunk, dropped the jug of beer I’d been drinking directly (who needs a glass!) and was nervous as all holy-shit! I was reading it as an opening for my friends' punk/metal band at the Canmore Hotel. Late '03 it must've been....

Ah, Canmore. Quite the town. What's the next poetry-related goal you want to fulfill?

Johnny: Creating a fringe show? The story of our early life growing up in the Cadillac Mountains has barely been told---I feel like more people need to know.

Shayne: Well, Johnny and I've discussed some way cool po(e)tential with this 2 Dope Boys project, and I personally look forward to working at it for awhile and seeing just how far we can go with fleshing out the mythos and ideas we have on-hand. I'd also love to do a Ghosts of the Highway reunion somewhere down the road... but not for some time, I’d imagine.

Can you tell us about the poem(s) you haven't written yet?

Johnny: Considering my longest-term goal with poetry is to stop writing poems (and only speak them), I don't know that I can. Apparently trees, environmental politics, and bicycles are big themes for me, so I suppose there'll be more of that.

Shayne: I’ve got a love letter/advice column to the police that's been percolating awhile. I'd also like to spend some time exploring the history of the Innisfail/Big Valley region of central Alberta – not sure if that'll be a single poem, or a cycle. And something about Prince. That has to happen.

What are the subjects/objects that really engage you?

Johnny: Trees, environmental politics, and bicycles. I grew up in a family dominated by feminists, so gender issues and the subject of male-female relations (to be heteronormative) often come up for me. Pretty much, fuck the patriarchy. One subject I'd really like to dig into is my heritage---not much is really known about the Gaelic Scots (and don't even begin talk

ing about Mel Gibson), and I feel the histories of my people is one I'd like to tell.

Shayne: Community, comic books, hip hop, independent touring musicians, history, the internet, trying to make things better, and trying to make really outlandish things actually work somehow...

We're pretty stoked to be the first stop on your (almost) randomized tour of Canadian (and American) poetry hot spots! Where ya heading after this?

Johnny: Back to Vancouver, sharing our work at Raw Canvas for the Art of Word night. After that... other places? This is just the beginning, though, our Cadillac’s got a lot of mileage to put in.

C’mon! “Other places…”?

Shayne: Well, the show at Raw Canvas is on Sept. 15, and then we’ve got Poetry in the Raw IV at the V.E.C. on Sept. 27, and possibly another show or two in Vancouver after that, and before Johnny heads off to

CFSW in Ottawa. So Victoria and Vancouver are basically playing host to the “trial run tour”, while the eastern North America tour starts in Peterborough on Nov. 25 and includes Ottawa, Montreal, New York, Indianapolis, Toronto as many points in-between as will have us (hopefully Chicago, Worcester, Boston, Washington DC, Hamilton, London, Burlington, Guelph, Syracuse, etc.)

We run your poetry through the ice-cream maker: what flavour do we get at the business end?

Shayne: The business end of the ice-cream maker? Or the business end of the whole equation? I think the answer to the latter is pretty obvious...

Johnny: Hemp beer!