29. SCHOOL GROUPS: THE SPOKEN WORD SHOWCASE
A Poetry Performance
A Poetry Performance
In our annual teen spoken word showcase, three poets take the mic and present incredible poetry. Hosted by poetry curator The Wild Woman, this event is geared towards high school students.
Date: May 4, 2023
Time: 12:30pm — 1:30pm ET
TO REGISTER FOR THIS IN-PERSON SCHOOL GROUPS EVENT, PLEASE CONTACT THE ROSE BOX OFFICE.
Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Britta Badour, better known as Britta B., is an award-winning artist, voice talent, educator, and poet living in Toronto. Her work has featured in notable spheres such as The Walrus Talks, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Women’s Foundation, as well as literature festivals like the FOLD, Toronto International Festival of Authors, and LitFest Bergen. Britta holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph and teaches spoken word performance at Seneca College. Wires that Sputter (McClelland & Stewart, 2023), is her debut collection of poetry.
Tahira Rajwani is a student, volunteer and spoken word artist. She is the winner of Mississauga’s 2022 poetry slam and has been published with The Stranger Poets, Poetry Undressed and Paper Crane Magazine. Most recently, she was also the runner-up for Button Poetry’s 2022 poem cover contest. Tahira is currently Marketing Lead with Sauga Poetry, an up-and-coming organization that aims to foster the local spoken word community and create opportunities for spoken word artists. By day, she is a psychology student at the University of Toronto.
Gavin Russell is a Spoken Word Artist out of Whitby, Ontario. Over the course of the last decade, he has brought his words to stages all over, attempting to bring levity, contemplation, and a desire to relish in the mundane to audiences everywhere. I multi-city champion in poetry slam, and a one time national champion, He hopes to enlighten and entertain with you. Yes, you specifically.
The Wild Woman is a Jamaican-born creator rooted deeply in her intersections as Black, woman, and queer, to harness purpose and use poetry, spirituality, and sensual self-introspection to challenge thoughts and ideals, instigating waves of change. With a career spanning over a decade, The Wild Woman is an award-winning spoken word artist, poet, author, educator, and workshop facilitator. She is also an event producer, host, speaker, and curator.
The FOLD is a remarkable and wonderful event for authors and attendees alike. What an amazing community, dedicated to the vital need for inclusive stories and the critical role they play in building a better world.
Field Guide to the North American Teenager is my first novel and FOLD was my first Canadian literary festival. While American and Canadian culture overlap quite a bit, especially when it comes to bookshelves, Canadian literature is unique and I was very heartened by to be embraced by that community I consider home despite residing in the US. It was a homecoming I didn’t know I needed!
The Festival of Literary Diversity was an absolute joy–the organizers thought of *everything* and by anticipating authors’ needs, they freed us to focus on connecting with the audience and each other. There was no pretension, no posturing–just very genuine conversations with invested writers and engaged readers.
I have been to a lot of writers festivals and the FOLD is definitely near the top of the list of those I want to be invited back to.
Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.
Wherever I go in Canada and find another writer of colour, we eventually end up gushing about how great the FOLD is, how by normalizing diversity it liberates us to talk to audiences about craft. It’s hard to imagine the literary landscape returning to a prehistoric pre-FOLD era.
FOLD is a festival experience unlike any other I’ve had. The FOLD team strive to create a space that’s welcoming and engaging, while allowing for curiosity, ingenuity and the fostering of real community – and they succeed, every year.
The FOLD is one of the most important literary events on this continent. By focusing on diverse voices and giving authors space to share their stories and speak their truths, it is revolutionizing the writing and storytelling realm as we know it.
Being part of the FOLD community has provided me with a strong sense of belonging. Sharing diverse stories and listening to different voices that broaden my understanding of the world has impacted me as a person and motivated me as a writer.