Spurring the Spoken Word

Omar Musa, a Malaysian-Australian author, rapper, and poet kicked off the entire festival. We were so thrilled he joined us all the way from Queanbeyan, Australia to regale us with his melodic spoken word readings—even weathering the unusually frigid April temperatures.

If you enjoyed Omar’s work, be sure to follow him on Twitter at @obmmusic and pick up a copy of his book, Here Come the Dogs.

Shadiya Aidid and Zeinab Aidid performed a haunting spoken word piece about assimilation at the festival’s migration panel.

If you enjoyed Shadiya and Zeinab’s performance, follow Shadiya at @shashaFUNK and Zeinab at @zayyAIDID.

Patricia SalahPoet Trish Salah was next to join us at the festival. She performed some wonderful pieces from both of her books—Wanting in Arabic and Lyric Sexology Volume 1.

Trish kicked off our panel on gender fluidity, and she also does a lot of excellent work within the trans community, including organizing the Writing Trans Genres and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres conferences at the University of Winnipeg. To stay up-to-date on Trish’s latest projects, follow her @Anasemia.

Bardia Sinaee gave a superb reading to kick off our masculinity panel.

If you enjoyed hearing Bardia’s work, be sure to check out his chapbook, Blue Night Express, and follow him on Twitter at @unclePoetry.

Emma HealeyEmma Healey read her poem, “A Game of Chess,” at Spur’s feminism panel.

It was such a fitting poem to open a lively discussion about contemporary feminism. If you enjoy Emma’s work, you should pick up a copy of her book, Begin with the End in Mind, and follow her on Twitter at @emmafromtoronto.

DD alum Phoebe Wang took the stage at Spur to give a reading to open a panel about designing the city’s landscape.

Her lovely work was a huge hit at the festival and we were so pleased she was able to join us. If you’d like to read more of Phoebe’s work, check out her blog, A Little Print, and follow her on Twitter at @alittleprint.

David Alexander opened a lively discussion about politics with two phenomenal poetry readings.

David has a chapbook out with Puddle of Sky Press called Chicken Scratch and can be found on Twitter at @readeverything. When he’s not writing or reading poetry, he’s hard at work as the executive director of the Toronto Vegetarian Association.