Friday, January 26, 2007     « Spot Light on a Floral Print »


Toronto writer Lawrence Hill is doing a reading with Afua Cooper at the Gladstone this week for the launch of a new book called, The Book of Negroes.

Tues, January 30, 7:30-10pm (doors 7pm), free

In grade 12 my high school brought Afua Cooper to teach a week-long dub poetry seminar to all the classes. The school was open-concept with the English area being one giant room with smaller, badly ventilated classrooms. The head of the department was pretty progressive and always tried to bring in good, diverse writers for a group of students sorely lacking contact with a world beyond First Choice/Super Channel and Friday nights at Jack Asstors. At the end of the week students had the opportunity to get up and read their poem (regardless of genre) to the entire department.

Now, having fashioned myself as some kind of "poet" at the time, I actually got up and read the most embarassing rant about my mother. Just because it was all true and I was going through a particularly brutal time having just left home to live on my own, doesn't mean I should have stood up at a podium and unleashed that emotional baggage on a roomful of teenagers.

We can all be thankful that there was no internet.

Lucky for me that wasn't the worst presentation that day. The worst was when a horrible classmate with whom I had many in-class fights and her lackey, got up with cornrows and black face to recite some spoken word set to calypso music.

THAT was embarassing for the entire world.

« Spot Light on a Floral Print »