THIN AIR2012's ForeWords Event
by Steve Locke
Saturday night, the Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival kicked off with a sold-out, raucous event that busted a few stitches, and surprisingly enough for some of the performers (myself included), did not result in any audience member’s indignation at our very low-brow humour. Judging by the fits of laughter, Winnipeg, your mind is in the gutter.
THIN AIR2012's ForeWords event filled up faster than an N*Sync album signing, where ticket holders were locked in to enjoy performances by Winnipeg’s Poetry Slam Team, a reading by ex-Pegger Corey Redekop from his zombie novel, “Husk,” as well as the festival’s inaugural Haiku Death Match. With the doors shut and a SOLD OUT sign Jiffy marker’d and taped to the window, this meant that unfortunate stragglers had to be turned away. But given the Cheshire grin worn by festival director Charlene Diehl throughout the evening, this will not be the only event of its kind.
Perhaps on part due to the affable hosting talents of Bruce Symaka, the largely “mature” audience was on board from the get-go. More intense and animated than your traditional poetry reading, none held back, unleashing bad puns, cuss words, and sometimes violent imagery to an unshaken crowd, which, to their credit, prepared them for what was to come.
This meant that local slam team, Steve Currie, Aaron, J-La, Faiza, and Dylan Mowatt and could take a break from their competition-style poetry to flex their performance muscles on home turf. On their first go as a team, these unassuming pedestrians have risen above the curb to distill our city’s ongoing story into five distinct voices, each one confident and eager to represent Winnipeg next month at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon.