The first time, I spoke too fast. The second, I didn’t make eye contact. The third time, well… I should be a regular by then right?!? – So it should be easier.
After the encouragement of two people I respect, Amy and Manik, I attended by very first Shab-e She’r Poetry Night in September.
For someone who is fully embracing their poetic heart this year, it was a terrifying challenge. However, I knew I had to conqure it if I wanted to continue my growth as a poet. I had previously only shared a poem at a book launch, and with my group at the Scaborough Poetry Club (SPC). The SPC members were so sweet, encouraging and supportive, that they gave me the guts to try the larger stage of Shab-e She’r. Without the Scarbrough Poetry Club’s feedback, support and love – I wouldn’t have ever thought of sharing my poem (they meet the first friday of every month, for anyone seeking to join a supper suportive group).
Publically writing the words in my head is very new to me, and reading them to an audience is somthing I never imagined I would do. I have a slight speech impediment and have always been nervous speaking in front of others (though, I hide it well). I have trained myself to present confidently, but that is always at trainings and workshops, where I am sharing the work of others.
Poetry, and through it, the spoken word, is a whole other beast. It leaves you no other names to hide behind, because the name at the end of that poem is yours. Presentating with the Scarborough Poetry Club and Shab-e She’r is forcing me to re-examine the barriers I placed on myself, and more importantly, my expectations of my “audience”.
Shab-e She’r is, “The most diverse poetry and open mic series in Toronto; showcasing people from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, etc.” They organize monthly events with two featured poets and open mic performers.
True to its promise, Shab-e She’r draw a crowd fo 50-70 people of all ages, races, ethnicity and so on. All with very different styles. I have enjoyed meeting other artists and poets. Every time I go, I learn a little bit more about poetry and this journey I am on. The various styles and topics people present on continue to enrich me.
The next event is on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at Beit Zatoun and starts at 7 pm. It marks the 3 year anniversary (I believe). If you are from Toronto (or in Toronto that night) it is worth checking out. I’ll be there 🙂
This time, I am planning on making eye contact, smiling 🙂 and confidently speaking my poem. Multi-tasking at its best!