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Edmonton awash with words and artistry

By  | 24 April 2016 at 02:05 | 2905 views

Edmonton has been celebrating verse every day this week, as this Canadian city (capital of the province of Alberta) showcases its literary spirit for yet another year. The annual Edmonton Poetry Festival which kicked off on Sunday April 17 will wrap up tomorrow Sunday April 24.

The theme for this year is: ‘Poetry Becomes’.

The organizers, in their open invitation, billed the event as “a week of transformation and change – a week of Becoming.”

Indeed, the proof is in the details; for there is a taste of poetry from diverse perspectives. The organizers came up with captivating slants like striptease poetry, molecular poetry, and an offering on how poetry can be organic. There are sessions that blend poetry with other art forms like music and photography. Imagine real time poetry among academics seeping cocktails, or springtime poetry by the river banks of a North American metropolis.

Poets’ frigid affair at Churchill Square in Edmonton

There are literary servings in at least 15 locations, in and outdoors, and spread all over the city. Admission into many sessions are free, some for a fee, and others by donation. In each venue, there is at least one stage where poetry enthusiasts get a chance to see, read and hear poems of all kinds. From City Hall to the main public library; from one church to three downtown cafés; anybody who likes rhymes and such creative wordplay gets a feel of the fiesta.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Centre Stage is host to two sessions, while The Kurimoto Japanese Botanic Garden, The Alberta Art Gallery, and The University of Alberta press, all get savory pieces of the action.

With Spring in the air, the festival takes to the banks of the North Saskatchewan River this year. This takes place today Saturday April 23. It’s been dubbed ‘Poetry among the Pines.’

There is also a more profound element to the whole affair. Donations received in sessions at the cafes and at one bookstore are set to go to the Edmonton Food Bank; one community service that is so vital to less privileged people in this city.

The exhibition goes beyond oral recitals, as one session got people posting their poems on refrigerators. It was at Churchill Square, the very heart of Edmonton. Here, household appliances and their accessory fridge magnets, served a whole new meaning to the expression ‘cold comfort’.

It did not matter if you are an amateur poet, or just liked to listen to words in verse, you get a chance to post a few words on the fridges, using magnets supplied by donors. It was all for free, just like the open air in the square.

The Edmonton Poetry Festival has been a topical series since it opened in 2006.

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