I fell in love with poetry in a transformative way in high school. Joining the poetry club at my high school was pivotal; it introduced me to spoken word. The first spoken word poem I remember listening to was Shane Koyzcan's "To this Day" at poetry club. I fell in love, I fell in love, and I fell in love again. After this poem, I kept digging and finding out about poets. I became (and still am) impasioned by folks like Shane Koyczan, Buddy Wakefield and Saul Williams. Later on the poetry club led me to the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam scene as well as the the BC youth spoken word competition, Hullabaloo. At these events, I made deeply foundational relationships that continued to shape my relationship with spoken word. I teamed up with two of these folks, Andrew Warner and Emma Field, to form the Tiny Tricycle Poets - and we toured for three summers together performing poetry as soon as I was out of high school. Fast forward a little and the three of us opened for Shane Koyczan at the Vogue Theatre last summer. All this to say - you could end up sharing stages with your biggest influences in high school faster than you can imagine.
When I was five, I was excited by Arthur's theme song. The rhythm and the rhyming were thrilling. I stole some of the end rhymes from our favourite aardvark and boom. I became a poet for the first time. After that, I started writing little rhymes about kindergarden, baloons, and the colour blue. Then I became a poet again, when I shared a poem in grade one, and my friend told me - "wow, that's amazing that it rhymes and it makes sense!"
And now, I move into becoming a poet more and more every day - as I learn what that means, and how that evolves in its meaning.
A poet's job is to unearth truth. Shatter walls. Release language. To dig up definitions. A poet's job is to surrender into desperation or triumph or pain, but always with awe and courage to face what is most scary. Poets are unsilencers.
The Ringing Bell by Amber Dawn.