The Northern Griots Network, at the South-North Griots Summit held in Toronto, May 28-31, hosted a planning session with Summit participants to discuss initiatives in advancing national and international development of culturally diverse spoken word poetry, particularly with reference to artists of African heritage. The session was made up of established spoken word artists and presenters from across Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.
The Report is now available on the NGN site at the following page:
Summit Planning Session Report
The NGN has already begun to initiate some of the recommendations, for example, by creating an online collection of resource on African Canadian spoken word poetry. This set of materials encourages critical awareness and discourse on how Black artists in Canada have developed and established a strong spoken word movement in this country, centred in an aesthetic that draws from our African heritage.
Another initiative well underway is the development of international touring opportunities for African Canadian spoken word artists, through partnerships, for example, with Trinidad’s Cascadoo Festival, and the Jamaican Poetry Festival.
We will post more news on these developments. In the meantime, please feel free to reach us at the following email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spoken Word Artists Taalam Acey was one of the feature presenters at the South-North Griots Summit in Toronto, May 28-31, 2015. Taalam has kindly made text from his presentation available on his blog, “Until 6 AM or Whenever You Leave.” Love that title! And if you have ever seen Taalam’s Cover art for one of his spoken word LPs, you will understand the scope and uniqueness of this man’s imagination!
To read Taalam’s insights on how to understand Spoken Word in the context of the origins of the Djele, you can click the link below:
Spoken Word: The Origin and Evolution of the Djele
You can check Taalam’s website at taalam-acey.squarespace.com
And to get an idea of Taalam on the mic, check this Youtube sample from Da Poetry Lounge in LA:
All Def Poetry
At the South-North griots Summit in May 2015, the wrap up session included a presentation of an NGN perspective on the evolution of contemporary African Canadian spoken word poetry.
To download a PDF of the presentation, click the following link:
TELLING OUR STORY PDF
Just now getting some links for strong examples of critical discourse on Canadian spoken word poetry, including the following by Karen Flynn and Evelyn Marrast in Wadabagei A Journal of the Caribbean and Its Diasporas, entitled Spoken Word from the North: Contesting Nation, Politics, and Identity.
The NGN celebrates and promotes awareness of the the many Canadian talented spoken word artists of African, Caribbean, and other culturally diverse heritage, as well as the work of our international sisters and brothers. We will also share info about upcoming Northern Griot Network initiatives and events, including the SOUTH NORTH GRIOTS SUMMIT scheduled for May 28-31 2015 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. The NGN, in collaboration with the Nia Centre for the Arts, is proud to announce that the South-North Griots Summit is a community partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. The Program for the South-North Griots Summit is about to be announced in March. Check the SNGS site for updates.
AND FOR THE INSPIRATION, CHECK THE ORIGINS