Métis multidisciplinary artist Moe Clark is a nomadic songbird with wings woven from circle singing and spoken word. Originally from Treaty 7, she’s called tio'tia:ke (Montreal) home for over a decade. Her last solo album “Within” toured North America in 2017 and her video poem “nitahkôtan” won best indigenous language music video at the ImagiNative film festival and later featured at Skabmagovat Film Festival (FI). Apart from performance, she facilitates creative workshops; she directed the first bilingual edition of the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and in 2016 she launched nistamîkwan: a transformational arts organization. Her work has appeared the world over, including the Lincoln Centre (US), UBUD Writers & Readers Festival (ID) and Origins Festival in London (UK).
I come into poetry through music. Song is my first language. I would listen to Björk, Joni Mitchell, Buffy Sainte-Marie for hours and memorize their songs and lyrics. When I got my license I played "Coyote" by Joni Mitchell religiously on my car ride to school from the suburbs. My dad had recorded it from vinyl to cassette so I could listen to it in my Malibu Classic.
I was a really quiet kid. I was always hiding in poetry and drawings, but didn't actually consider myself a poet until my early twenties when I started hanging out with some local poets. I met Sheri-D Wilson, a beat poet who had studied at Naropa with Anne Waldman, Ginsberg, etc, when she came in to perform for a typography class I was taking at art school. When I heard her share, I had a revelation: "Oh, this is totally what I have been doing + want to do more of." So I connected with her and she invited me to perform at the emerging poets showcase in the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. That was my start, and I've been writing and performing my own spoken word poetry and song ever since.
To transform the world into magic. To feast our senses.
I already have Rita Joe's poem "I Lost My Talk" memorized and reference her brilliant offering often in the workshops that I teach.