One Day, Two Conferences and a Burlesque Show

After two full days at the Greater Toronto CivicAction Summit, I was ready to just spend a quiet day at home in my pajamas.  Instead, I went to two conferences and had a crazy night in Peterborough.

First stop was the White Ribbon Campaign’s “What Makes a Man Conference” at Ryerson University.

I’m so inspired by what the White Ribbon Campaign and folks like Jeff Perera are doing.  Catch his TedX talk here:

I performed a piece and talked a little about the need to create safe spaces for womyn. I wish I could have stuck around to hear Carlos Andrés Gómez in the afternoon session but I had to head over to Peteborough to share some poetry at Trent University Community Movements Conference. I shared my status poem before the evening panel and then sat back to listen to some folks share their narratives with us on navigating their ethnicity in a Canadian setting. One woman talked about blood memory and something in what she said really struck a cord.

Once there, I connected with Mary who I had met back in the summer. She had spent a year with my girl, Anique, in Ecuador. The night I met Mary, the three of us went on a joy ride downtown Toronto on a multi-coloured tandem bike (Mary on the back, me steering and Anique standing precariously in between us both). At the time the bike had quasi-functional brakes and I was astounded by Mary’s ability to go with the flow and put her life in the hands of a complete stranger. We lived to tell the tale, but please do not try at home.

After the conference we went to a cocktail bar and to my amazement I see my good friends, Truth Is and Bethanne Fischer. Both inspiring poets. It was a night of dancing, poetry and a legendary burlesque performance by Bethanne. I say legendary because it was just that. You had to have been there. After many hours of dancing with Mary to old skool hip hop (courtesy of Jonathan Thebesthiphop aka DJ WHO), my body finally started to crash. Headed back to the hotel, wrote some poetry about blood memory and caught a few hours rest before catching a ride back to TO with Truth and Bethanne on Sunday.


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