Peterborough Poetry Slam Virtual Soapbox Sessions
Dates: May 24 to June 24
The Peterborough Poetry Slam will turn over control of its social media platforms and its virtual soapbox stage to a number of Peterborough-area poets.
Jenn Cole (May 24) is a mixed ancestry Algonquin Anishinaabe kwe from Kiji Sibi watershed territory. She considers herself lucky to have grown up in the bush and perplexed by having grown up next to a nuclear planned community. Jenn is Assistant Professor in Gender and Social Justice Studies at Trent U, Associate Artistic Producer of Nozhem First Peoples Performance Space and Editor for Canadian Theatre Review’s Views and Reviews. She writes, performs, parents and naps on rocks.
Sneha Wadhwani (May 26) is a poet, activist and dreamer. She calls Indore, India her birthplace and is currently studying in the Arts & Science program at McMaster University. For Sneha, poetry is magic – the kind that expresses, heals, and connects all at once. Other forms of magic Sneha believes in include kittens, nature, cheese, and hugs.
Tami Sixx (June 1) is a growing creative. Intensely drawn to abstract, contemporary art and poetry. She is actively working on a collection tentatively named “Excited & Terrified”…mixing visual art, poetry and music. Aware of her many privileges Sixx actively works on being and doing better in all aspects of her being, contributions and relations. ~ She feels very blessed and grateful to be living on and playing in beautiful, Nogojiwanong!!
Writing poems, short stories and creating art from an early age; Sixx uses multiple platforms to process and express how she feels, sees and experiences life and the world around her.
Sixx has had the opportunity to organize and participate in a variety of community events including; The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Idea Share Ptbo, Come As You Are live Poetry Reading Series, First Friday Art Crawl, The 5th Annual Book and Zine Fest & was a “Change Your World” workshop presenter at the Youth Leadership Conference at York U.
Stumbling across the Peterborough Poetry scene in 2016 has led her to make wonderful new friends, share her truths and connect with a community of soulful, talented artists.
Invited to perform an original piece at the Storytellers of Canada Conference at Trent University opened up and reignited a passion for artistic self expression. Sixx competed and landed a spot on the 2018 Peterborough Poetry Slam Team. Representing Our scene at The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Guelph.
Stevie (June 10) (they/them) is an up and coming poet. Still new to the scene, they compete as much as possible. Their dream is to one day be published and compete nationally. Currently, they have some awesome projects that are in their infancy but can’t wait to share once ready.
Between being a full time student and working full time, poetry give Stevie a break from the busy world around them. Their work is a reflection of their life experiences and how they navigate the world.
Check Stevie out on their new poetry account on Instagram @potentlypoetic.
EJ (June 15) is a poet, journalist, spoken word artist, and activist based in Peterborough. She stepped onto the stage in 2016, making an impression in the local and national scenes. Her work strives to find beauty in the broken by embracing the hard edges. She explores personal traumas, love, and her Belizean heritage, shedding light on the state of race, gender, and class struggles in Canada. EJ has competed and performed nationally, co-organized the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word 2017, and completed her first chapbook, “romantic and horrible.”
Ziysah von Bieberstein (June 17) is a parent, poet, community cultivator, and unsettled settler who seeks to connect us to our imaginations, our responsibilities, and each other. As a spoken word artist, ze has toured, performed, competed and facilitated workshops across Turtle Island. ziysah’s writing has appeared in various magazines and anthologies as well as in their newly released collection, Consents +/=/- Severances. ziysah is co-founder of Take-Out Poetry (a bicycle-powered typewritten poetry innovation). a three-time poetry slam team-member, a Candian Individual Poetry Slam finalist, and co-founder of the Peterborough Poetry Slam. A descendant of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe, ziysah is grateful to be making home here in Nogojiwanong on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe territory.
Danny Taro (June 19), a.k.a. Erroneous Monk, is a rapper, activist and entrepreneur born in Mississauga, Ontario. Like many who moved to Peterborough-Nogojiwanong to study at Trent University, he fell in love with the local arts community and was an active member of the Peterborough Poetry Slam from 2008-2015. An organizer at heart, events follow Danny wherever he goes, including Bangkok, Thailand, where he worked as a teacher for nearly 5 years. While living in Bangkok, and finding himself in good company, Danny started a band called Peanut Butter Jams, which produced 3 EPs: Launch, Transit, and Arrival. Having returned to pre-pandemic Peterborough, he is excited to share some of the work he created while living in Southeast Asia.
Picture: “Taro-san Ichiban” by bandmate Can Kırış at the Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine in Nikkō, Japan.
Sarah Lewis (June 24) (she/her) is an Anishnaabe Kwe (Ojibwe/Cree) spoken word artist from Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario. She is a proud member of the 2019 Peterborough Poetry Slam Team, as well as a semi finalist at the 2019 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She is a mother, social justice activist, performer, community organizer, artist, dreamer, and a curious spirit in pursuit of answers about the universe. Her stories highlight the struggles and more importantly the resiliency within Indigenous communities. Her work aims to decolonize the structural systems we are all a part of, and to remind her listeners of the capabilities and voices they possess. Her works of poetry also draw on themes of love, rage, grief, addiction and environmental activism. When she isn’t writing, you can find her playing her ukulele, roller skating or hiking with her 2 year old son.