poetry & sound experimentation

mino gizheb kina wiya! good morning everyone!

for the last few days, i’ve been reminiscing about this poet, bill bissett, who came into a class that i was in at university of victoria. for those of you who don’t know of him, he’s kinda of a legend in the sound poetry scene. he does chanting of sounds and creating these unique soundscapes. when i first heard him perform, i was thinking what is this? is this poetry? what our professor, linda rogers, was trying to do was to get us thinking, experimenting with words, specifically the sounds of the language we use to communicate, the poetic language we use to express our human-ness.

as a writer, as a poet, i love language. i love the sound of language. and i’ve been practicing with the sound of words and the sounds in anishnaabemowin. it seems natural to experiment breaking down the sounds to help pronounce and enunciate the words and expressions in anishnaabemowin. one of my mentors, marilyn dumont, also encouraged me to experiment with the structure of poetry and use of language. sometimes you gotta break free from form to find a unique way of sharing a poem and also to find your voice. so i’d like to pass along these great teachings for all poets and writers. experiment and break free!

also, if you’re in ottawa or around ottawa, there’s a great poetry festival called versefest and it starts next tuesday. and, bill bissett will be there performing! yay! will you be going?

keep writing! keep singing! keep moving to the beat!

translations from above photo

gizheb – morning
ganadjiwan – it is beautiful
nongom – today / now