On October 31, 2023, guest speaker Wakefield Brewster invited the members and guests to “embrace the spirit of radio-enter the Theatre of the Mind” while he performed his poetry.
Mr. Brewster is Calgary’s current Poet Laureate. His work is meant to be heard and felt. For him, his words are a gift that must come out – a blessing.
He first gave a reading from “Lunar Herstory” envisioning a cosmology where culture, lyricism, and astrophysics are the rings and his mother is the planet. “She knew more than she spoke..” – his vibrant, energetic voice filled the room. His rhythmic cadence is akin to rap music and he strode around the room while he spoke. Movement is an essential part of him and therefore an essential part of his poetry. It is kinetic- the work moves him.
Next he read from “H2O”, a poem written in 2001 in reference to the Walkerton disaster.
Finally, he presented a series of 5 poems representing 5 stages of the Covid pandemic. Covid is a Rumor, Covid is For Real, Polarized People, New Norms , and Projecting and Reflecting. Brewster ended his presentation with the encouraging words for us: “Y’all keep going.”
His beautiful voice, the rapping cadence, and his footsteps keeping time made for an electric presentation. Read his poems, yes, but see him in person. This work is meant to move and to move you.
Wakefield Brewster was born in Toronto to Barbadian parents. He now is happy to call Calgary home. Visit his website for more information and to see his video introduction to the Calgary Surge.
Next week, member Cathy R. will present on Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver is a novelist and essayist, whose recent work includes Demon Copperhead.
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