Tag Archives: poetry

Open Mike, Saturday October 1st!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Stories in the North will be holding an Open Mike evening on October 1st, 2011. (That’s a Saturday night.) We’ll be holding it, as usual, downstairs at the Legion in Thessalon.

This time we have an added attraction. We’ll be making the draw for the quilt – yes, this quilt – for which we have been madly selling tickets for months. Open Mike night will be the last opportunity to buy a chance on this lovely quilt.

Doors open at 6:30, and the festivities will start at 7 p.m. We have four categories, with a $50.00 prize offered for the winner of each category. The categories are:

Poetry: rhymed or not, traditional or experimental – your call!
Fiction: Wow us with your best story!
True stories: If it happened in real life, tell it here!
Words and music: We’ve changed this one a little. Previously we were looking only for original songs. Now we will also take parody.

There is a $5.00 entry fee for each spot. You are limited to five minutes, including whatever introductory remarks you make.

Who decides the winners? The audience does, by popular vote; feel free to pack the hall with your loyal supporters! Admission is $7.00. There will be snacks and a cash bar.

To register call 705-842-3817. Please leave your name and phone number, the category you want to enter, and a good time to call you. You can also email elizabeth.creith@bell.net.

At the moment we have two spots available in poetry, fiction and true stories, and three in words and music.

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Kateri and Shane a hit

Yesterday morning Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm led a workshop in writing with courage, giving the participants tools to deal with a story that stops you cold. In the afternoon, Shane Belcourt led a lively workshop on screenwriting. I attended both, and I’m glad I did!

The evening at the Oddfellows’ Hall also went well. The Rebekahs put on their usual lavish buffet of finger foods; no need to eat supper before turning up to this show!

Kateri read both with Shane’s musical accompaniment, and also unaccompanied. Judging from the enthusiastic applause, the evening was a hit. At one point Kateri looked out at the audience and said, “This is fun!” We like to hear that!

Pictures will be coming soon.

Saturday…

…is the big day.

We have a few spots left for the two workshops, Writing with Courage at 10 a.m. with Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, and Screenwriting at 1:30 p.m. with Shane Belcourt. Lunch included.

Even if the workshops aren’t your thing, don’t miss the performance at 7:00 p.m. at the Oddfellows’ Hall on Main Street in Thessalon. It’s going to be a fun night, with poetry and music and good food and a chance to hang out with the artists.

Check out the article in the Sault Star!

Between the workshops and the performance, check out Tina’s on Main for good food and Forestland for a great selection of clothing and gifts and gourmet goodies.

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm appears July 16th in Thessalon!

We’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time!

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is bringing her performance poetry to Thessalon on the evening of July 16th. She’ll be accompanied by musician Shane Belcourt.
The show will be at the I.O.O.F. hall, across from the Post Office on Main Street, Thessalon, at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door.

Kateri is a well-respected poet who has toured not only Canada, but also Europe and New Zealand. She has published two books of her own poetry, my heart is a stray bullet and bloodriver woman. She’s also released two CDs of poetry and music, standing ground and A Constellation of Bones: Soundtrack. On the latter she collaborated with Maori hip-hop artist Te Kupu.

Akiwenzie-Damm’s grandmother Irene Akiwenzie wrote for the Wiarton Echo and the Sun Times, and was also a wonderful speaker and storyteller. Her husband Joe was a quiet man, says Akiwenzie-Damm, “but when he spoke, his words had power. When he spoke, we listened.” Akiwenzie-Damm’s Polish grandmother Anna Damm, a talkative and animated woman, also loved to tell stories and jokes.
“It completely makes sense that as an Anishnaabe woman I would be drawn to poetry. It is such a simple, yet profound form of expression…very much part of a continuum with the songs and stories and invocations that are part of our traditions.”

Kateri established her publishing company, Kegedonce, in 1993. She has edited two collections of writing by First Nations authors from around the world.

Shane Belcourt,the son of Métis leader Tony Belcourt, is a filmmaker with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of aboriginal people. As a musician, he released one CD with his former band Woodrow, and three as a solo effort under the name The Shane Anthony Band. After making a number of short films, he made his first feature-length movie, Tkaronto, which was chosen as the Closing Night film at the 2007 ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival.

They remember the start of their collaboration slightly differently. Kateri remembers it as Shane inviting her onstage at an event. Shane remembers it as a wedding, with Kateri starting the action, “waxing it”, as he says, with friends improvising in the background.

Both agree that it was fun, and that they worked well together.

“Shane is a generous, easygoing, fun, and very talented guy,” says Kateri. “I enjoy performing with him because there’s no stress. Shane knows I’m not a musician and understands that I’m not going to instantaneously turn into a rapper or singer. ”

Shane says, “Collaborating with a poet is unique in that you follow a more percussive lead as opposed to tonal. It requires a bit more of a subdued supporting role as well; the poet can’t belt it out like Aretha as the music crests. Ya gotta keep it supportive in volume, variance, and intensity.”

On July 16th, we get to see that magic happen here. Don’t miss it!

Was that cool, or what?

The Open Mike was a great success! We had a full slate of performers, some new and some returning. Also new to this Open Mike was Gerry Clark, who did a great job as the MC.

Winners at this Open Mike were:

Ann Lloyd in poetry
Ruthann Fecteau in true stories
Angie Gallop in fiction
and
Wayne Nott in songwriting

Wayne very generously played all night between sets to create a fun atmosphere. He’s an excellent singer and songwriter, and a newcomer to the Open Mike crowd.

Pictures will be going up as soon as I get them!

The next Open Mike will be held on October 1st, 2011. Book your space soon – we fill up quickly!

The envelope, please…

Okay, it’s not the Oscars, but last night was Stories in the North’s second Open Mike Night.

Our contestants were:

In fiction, Gail Joy, Douglas Ord, Tom Johnson
In non-fiction, Tatiana Johnson, Ruthanne Fecteau, Elizabeth Creith, Joyce Conway
In poetry, Elizabeth Creith, Ruthanne Fecteau
In songwriting, Al St. Pierre, Gail Joy

And the winners were:

In fiction, Gail Joy
In non-fiction, Joyce Conway
In poetry, Ruthanne Fecteau
In songwriting, Al St. Pierre

We had great snacks – cheese and cold cuts, chips and dips, homemade squares, devilled eggs, salsa. Who needs dinner? Heather behind the bar served the drinks. There were four door prizes, and a good time was had by all – or at least so we believe.

Spaces for the next Open Mike – and we haven’t even thought about a date yet! – are filling up. Six have been taken already. The categories for the next event are Fiction, True Stories, Poetry and Songwriting. For True Stories we are asking people to stick to the story and leave op-ed pieces and opinion essays at home.

We have a strict five-minute time limit for all entries. Entry fee is five dollars per category, one entry per category per person.

Watch this space for a date. Call 705-842-3817 to register.

The next author is…..

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm!

Kateri is a poet and performance artist, living and working at Neyaashiinigmiing, Cape Croker Reserve on the Saugeen Peninsula in southwestern Ontario, and in Ottawa. Besides writing and performing poetry and music, Kateri has established Kegedonce Press, one of only three aboriginal publishing houses in Canada.

To read an interview with Kateri, go here

We look forward to having Kateri perform in Thessalon this summer. The tentative date is July 16th.

We’ll keep you posted – in the meantime, keep reading, and keep writing!