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Media Release: Announcing Poets+ curated by Tawahum Bige

The Arts Council of New Westminster is excited to announce: Poets+ curated by Tawahum Bige
An exciting new collection of performances from emerging poets of color is debuting through the Arts Council of New Westminster (ACNW) in 2022.

To be officially released on Jan. 14, the hour-long compilation was curated by Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree poet and spoken word Tawahum Bige

Bige’s relationship with the Arts Council began in 2019, when they hosted a workshop for New Westminster’s annual literary arts festival, LitFest New West. They are a long-standing member of the poetry community and have been widely recognized for their talent as a spoken word performer and writer. In their words, Bige’s work aims to “expose growth, resistance, and persistence as a hopeless Two Spirit non-binary sadboy on occupied Turtle Island.”

So when Stephen O’Shea from the Council started thinking about releasing a spoken word compilation on contemporary issues facing marginalized artists in so-called Canada, he knew Bige was the person to put it together. 

In Poets+, Bige performs alongside Nisga’a spoken word/hip hop artist Justin Percival, queer Filipinx comedian Tin Lorica, and creative facilitator Jillian Christmas. Together, they cover themes of identity, oppression, and reconciliation. 

“Showcasing four emerging spoken word artists at this time in their careers is really important for them and the meaningful work that they’ve been engaged in with the Vancouver spoken word and music scene,” says O’Shea. 

“Hearing the authentic voices of emerging artists of colour who are addressing historical wrongs and a pervasive narrative of white supremacy — these voices are vital and important, and I think people need to hear them.”

O’Shea says it’s an honour to contribute to the project and work with the artists involved.

“We celebrate not only the journey they’ve had up until now or on this project, but even the work that they will do in the future and the way they’ll change and improve and re-contextualize so-called Canada’s cultural fabric,” he says.

The project was recorded and filmed at Fifth Chord Studios in New Westminster last summer. When it is released in the new year, it will be available to view through YouTube and Earshot digital Distribution System.
Media Contact: Aly Laube
To interview the artists or organizers, reach out to me here or at 7788081400.
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