Buffy Sainte-Marie among the performers at this year’s Verses Festival of Words

Canadian music icon Buffy Sainte-Marie headlines this year’s Verses Festival of Words.

The singer/songwriter/activist is the most prominent figure at the spoken-word festival, which takes place April 19-29, with 30+ events across East Vancouver.

Along with Sainte-Marie, guests include radio host Janet Rogers, burlesque dancer Sparkle Plenty and cyber-punk poet Joshua Whitehead, amongst many others. In addition, a poetry competition will bring students from across B.C. to perform original works.

See below for a closer look at Verses, and some of the headliners.

Buffy Sainte-Marie—Sainte-Marie has been performing since the early 1960s and releasing albums since her 1964 debut It’s My Way. Her song “Cod’ine” has been recorded by Donovan and Courtney Love, among others. Her most recent albums are Power in the Blood (2015) and Medicine Songs (2017). She is hosting a Verses event April 22 at the WISE Hall with guests Ronnie Dean Harris, Mitcholos Touchie, and an̓usáyum̓.

Edzi’u—The Tlingit musician creates compositions using samples from recorded stories of grandmothers generations past. According to her bandcamp page, “She’s taking her music and voice in a completely different direction, fully encompassing her life and colonial inheritance as a twenty-first century indigenous woman.”

Edzi’u composes sound collages using samples of First Nations elders. She is among the guests at this year’s Verses Festival of Words in Vancouver.

Kitty Stryker—Stryker is the founder of ConsentCulture.com, a website and online community. She is also the author of Ask: A Discussion of Consent Culture, and a sought-after speaker on feminism, sex work, consent and queer politics.

Chimwemwe Undi—The work of this Winnipeg-based poet/law student has appeared in several anthologies. Undi herself has appeared at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She was the 2017/18 poet-in-residence with Poetry In Voice and was shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Her debut chapbook, The Habitual Be, is included with a 10-chapbook anthology called 2017 New Generation African Poets.

Mitcholos Touchie—Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ/ Nuučaan̓uɫ artist/poet  Touchie’s has appeared at Vancouver’s Talking Stick Festival, in the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Spotlight Series, and at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. He recently explored the word “Indian” in a stirring video series.

For more info, visit versesfestival.ca.

Verses Festival of Words

When: April 19-29
Where: various venues (East Vancouver)
Tickets: brownpapertickets.com

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