Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you’re the type of person who would prefer the thousand words, however, check out this local Kelowna poetry event called the Inspired Word Cafe. Created by the dynamic poet Rawle James, the event has quickly become a staple of the Kelowna and Okanagan valley literary scene. James is a former businessman, but chose to re-direct his passion towards the making of art and being in service to “any individual seeking growth and change to living an Inspired Life.” He has gone on to inspire others with his poetic style and personal message of hope and resilience by creating the Inspired Word Cafe. They meet at a variety of locations, including the Kelowna Art Gallery and the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
(R)evolution Through Artistic Expression
At the Inspired Word Cafe, it’s not just about poetry. The night can include a variety of different artistic forms such as spoken word, dance and music. As always, the talented lineup of performers can range from seasoned, published professional writers and performance artists, to expressive amateurs who find themselves on stage for the first time, developing their literary voice. Poetry, if you didn’t know, is subjective. There are no right or wrong answers. With this in mind Rawle James encourages writers from all backgrounds of class, education, race and age to stand up and deliver a selection of material that affects them personally.
What’s the Difference Between Poetry and Spoken Word?
Some people are afraid of poetry. This may be because of how they were first exposed to it when they were in grade school and high school. Poetry is not stuffy and esoteric, although it can be. Community is at the heart of the Word Cafe, which means that there is something accessible to every artistic sensibility here. Spoken Word poetry has emerged as a populace-based poetic form that blends rap, rhyme, rhythm, humour and popular culture to create a musical, kinetic art form. The performance series also features appearances by local musicians and bands like the Barefoot Caravan, who blend poetic expression with musical styling.
Get Inspired by Stories and Poems
Whether you’re a writer or not, the event will get you thinking about the possibilities and power of the written and spoken word. Recently, guest speakers were brought in from around the world as part of the Global Citizen Kelowna’s Speakers Series. Among these social activists and community organizers was the writer Okello Kelo Sam, who speaks from a position of survival, having lived through an existence as a child soldier in Africa.
Poetry, like all art forms, drives a community to express and support itself. The local Kelowna poetry scene is growing by leaps and bounds as people begin to discover the power that words have to draw a group together. Why not check out the event and dust off your own notebook to see if you have any gems that can start you on your first collected works? You may discover not only the poet in you but also a vibrant community of support for your talent and your writing.