Our Spoken Word event series, curated by award-winning poet and spoken word artist Jillian Christmas, is an effervescent, powerful highlight of our youth programming every year. We’re so excited to bring this exceptional series to the rest of our audience for the first time. Performers include Fringe New Play Prize-winner, playwright, poet, actor, and community organizer Lili Robinson, as well as jaye simpson: an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. Their work has been published in various publications and their latest work, it was never going to be okay, was shortlisted for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers and won the Indigenous Voices Award. Brandon Wint is an Ontario-born poet, spoken word artist, and educator whose poems and essays have been published in national anthologies. Divine Animal is his debut book of poetry. These are artists at the top of their game; whose vocalization will move, rivet, and provoke. Come find out what the excitement is about.
Hosted by Jillian Christmas.
Participants and Speakers
jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. their work has appeared in the anthologies Hustling Verse, Love After the End and the forthcoming anthology The Care We Dream Of. it was never going to be okay was shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award for poetry and won the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award. they are a displaced Indigenous person resisting, ruminating, and residing on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories. (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
BRANDON WINT is a poet, spoken word artist, and educator. For more than a decade, Wint has been a sought-after, touring performer, and has presented his work in the United States, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Jamaica. His poems and essays have been published in national anthologies, including The Great Black North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House, 2013) and Black Writers Matter (University of Regina Press, 2019). Divine Animal is his debut book of poetry. (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
LILI ROBINSON (she/they) is a playwright, poet, actor, and facilitator based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Lili is passionate about centering voices at the intersections of queerness, Black diaspora, socio-economic diversity and femme identity in their work. Her debut play Mx won the Fringe New Play Prize in 2019 and was presented at the Cultch through the Cultchivating the Fringe Award this past year. While theatre is her primary practice, poetry and spoken word are her first loves. In addition to her artistic practice, Lili is also building her practice as a facilitator, and investigating how Black Feminist teachings can further inform all that she does. (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
JILLIAN CHRISTMAS is an artist, creative facilitator, curator, consultant, and advocate in the arts community. She is the long-time spoken word curator of the Vancouver Writers Fest, and former Artistic Director of Verses Festival of Words. Utilizing an anti-oppressive lens, Jillian has performed and facilitated workshops across North America. She is the author of The Gospel of Breaking (Arsenal Pulp Press 2020), and the forthcoming children’s book, The Magic Shell (Flamingo Rampant Press 2021). She lives on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam people.