Keeping words alive - Metro US

Keeping words alive

The word on the streets of Vancouver, according to Bryan Pike, is that poetry is seeing a resurgence.

“Yeah, I think there is a buzz around the whole poetry scene,” says Pike, producer of the Vancouver Word on the Street Festival. “Having Shane Koyczan become a literary superstar after the Olympics and Vancouver having a poet laureate — there’s definitely something happening in this city with that scene.”

The Vancouver Word on the Street Festival will be celebrating not only poetry, but a wide range of literature when it holds its 16th festival at Library Square Marketplace September 26. Again, the event will have a number of tents hosting an array of different authors, magazine and book publishers and of course, poets, who Pike says, will be displaying their skills in some energetic, no-holds barred poetry slams.

“It’s really a celebration of reading and literature,” Pike explains. “We try to include everything.”

This year, the festival will have added attention on less-mainstream forms of writing, including writing for movies, television and radio. There is also a focus on emerging technologies like online books with demonstrations and discussions.

“I think it’s an exciting time with the advent of being able to download books,” he says. “But then again, I’m also kind of a gadget-geek.”

So the word on the street is “poetry?”

“Yeah, the word on the street definitely rhymes this year,” Pike says.

He pauses for a couple of seconds.

“Maybe I shouldn’t say that because most poetry doesn’t rhyme,” he adds with a laugh.

More summer festival fun

• Alcan Dragon Boat Festival: June 19 – 20, 2010
• Caribbean Days Festival: July 24 – 25, 2010
• Vancouver Pride Festival: August 1, 2010
• Pacific National Exhibition: August 21 – September 6, 2010
• Vancouver Fringe Festival: September 8 – 19, 2010

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