Feature Poet – Rea-Anna Walters


I allow my heavy eyes to stare at the inside of my eyelids for a moment.

The dark, emptiness envelopes my mind.

Until a strand of your golden hair skips around my thoughts, tempting my vision of you–appearing with your face next to mine, your blue eyes pierce through my facade of strength, endearing the vulnerable weakness of my soul.

I watch your gaze glide, shamelessly from my brown eyes to my cheeks, the charcoal black hair that frames my jawline, your fingers release my hands and caress my lips, my chin, my softly sculpted nose, neck, waist. and your eyes are softly, silently combing my features, detangling my insecurities, replacing them with your adoration.

Moving your mind closer to my heart, your soft pink lips drawing closer to mine, till your golden hair tickles my forehead, your nose traces circles around mine, the sculpture of your lips embrace the mold of my own, soft like the newest clouds tucked neath the heavens depths.

My mind drifts in its peace, off to a world of no memory, engulfed in an earth of bliss, wrapped in thoughts of you.


Why did you write this poem? 

In all honesty, I wrote this poem because I liked a white boy once. Plain and simple. I thought that he exceeded my expectations and I thought he might be the exception. He was intriguing to me and I found myself daydreaming of how he would treat me if I trusted him. He had blue eyes, a strong jawline… and I don’t remember much after that. I think he was skinny and it didn’t last BUT, I liked a cute white guy once and it might happen again.


About Rea-Anna Walters


Feature Poet – Shima Robinson

Forever Stranger

I know the anger that licks

At the heels of the forever stranger

As she again leaves

The realm of wasted dreams

That dangle skinny from the boughs of trees

A canopy for downtown streets

Whose reaching arms macabre charms

Are etched into my cherished memory

That is protected by my efforts

To save face

With palms turned on a grimace

Pressing a smile back into place

As I chuckle at myself with a jovial thinness

Kindly removing a cobweb wealth

Of woeful story lines

From broad cheek bones that carry my smile

While straining other muscles than the ones that clenched

Like a cast around the pain that sapped my reserves

As I pled guilty to a curse

And danced a lean mayhem

To the tune of phantom calling

Blood curdling cries for place names

My tangent wove them into welcome slogans

For every awaiting doorway

It’s great to be here


Meeting face to face














With the forever stranger tucked away feeling herself a

Blue flame elemental base for my stoked enthusiasm

As I keep cool in her heated delivery closing emotional chasms with

Smooth one-liners

Opining with ritual gravity every time

She shakes out the grey strangers livery

For me to climb into

With spazming hands that drop the folds

She then urges me to mimic

Rumpling to the floor

Giving in with finite patience

Awaiting the arrival of a certain kind of silver bullet

Shot to decimate the breast plate

Protecting the heart of love itself

In a mechanical rehearsal

Serving the deep admiration of my long shadow

The forever stranger chortles and coughs

Giving herself away

Yet I refuse to scoff her straining hunch into a cower

And refuse to laugh off her suggestion

That we while away the hours glowering together

Her voice punches past her grey felt mask

With the caustic demand that I give her up ghostly

Prompting a line of verse from my terse tongue

Raining ember read anger on her wick black mood

Both seething burning essence

Brooding over mostly hidden blessings

Shunning the deference that strikes truce

We are forever fellows even as I leave her at the gallows

She built for her own use.


Why did you write this poem? 

This poem is a part of my response to dealing with a mental illness. I wrote it to articulate the duality and sense of unity of my self and the struggles I go through along that continuum.


About Shima Robinson (aka Dwennimmen)

Shima Aisha Robinson is an Edmonton born spoken word poet and student. She is the host of the open mic reading series, known as the POET TREE, in downtown Edmonton where emerging and established poets come together to share their work. She is primarily a spoken word poet and has been writing and performing for 10 years. Her poetry is inspired by the deep emotionality of her personal experiences. She has recently been published in the Sun & Snow Anthology 2013 The Rhythm of One Love.

Facebook: Shima Aisha Robinson
                    POET TREE


What is Slam Poetry?

We might not be what you think we are.

Spoken word poetry or “slam poetry” is a means of expression. It is off-the-page poetry and entertainment. Slam poetry provides artists with the opportunity to convey emotions, beliefs, and thoughts using the power of vocal expression and words. Slam poetry is often used to shed light on social issues to encourage social change.

Josh Healey is a poet, artist and writer from Oakland. He says, “In terms of social change, storytelling can get us beyond the talking points of this or that ‘issue’ to connect with people’s deeper feelings and emotions. People don’t want to hear about ‘health care,’ but they do want to hear about your aunt Stacy who had to sell her mom’s wedding ring to pay for her cancer treatments.

At Breath In Poetry, spoken word is not always about competition. That’s why we host open mic nights. On these nights, seasoned performers and brand new artists alike are encouraged to climb confidently onto our stage and share their stories. Poets share a little bit of their lives so that each audience member can understand a bit more about their own. Spoken word poetry often highlights collective experiences. The human experience. When your head gets light and your palms start to sweat because that poet just peeled open your life to speak truth into your reality–that’s spoken word. The knowledge alone that another person feels the way you feel is like a healthy glob of Polysporin on an open wound. Soothing.

This post may have made you excited to come out to Rouge Lounge this Tuesday at 9pm for some heart opening poetry. It also may have confused you. Either way, we can’t explain Breath In Poetry spoken word for you to completely understand.

You’ll have to just come.







Feature Poet – Liam Coady

It’s days like these,

That you pick yourself up out of your bed.

Your head filled with lists of things to accomplish that you have to edit

Because you know you can’t do it.

Its days like these,

That your body and mind were in an eternal fistfight that waged through the night

Trying to find a harmony,

But end up in another calamity, spitting notes in a sharp E and a flat G

Neither one willing to change key.

Its days like these,

That those you call friends

Call you lazy

Because it’s easy.

You should be able to do it.

So you superglue a strong face over the pain

And crack a smile like it was pavement

While holding back the frustration

Because you know you should be able to do it.

But today you can’t.

Liam_PeelingBecause you’re daily energy was given out in spoonfuls

Due to a condition living on the inside

Setting up roadblocks through your veins

Making you pay a toll at every gate for every movement

So you pay in spoonfuls

And today you’re running out of spoons

(Its a little less like cutlery and a little more like agony)

Its days like these

Where one please to God

To ease the pain of his infernal disease

But instead he decrees that this is your burden, buried in your blood like cement

Making your joints rust like Dorothy’s tin man,

Except your can of oil cannot be found by the doctors because cures are on back order.

Its days like these,

That you keep fighting

You keep fighting back like days like these are the beasts

You’ve been fighting your entire life.

You know how to combat.

You’ve had an internal enemy that has been trying to tear you down for years

And yet you stay standing,

A living monument to the inner war you’ve been winning

A peacekeeper between your body and mind

A hero who tackles the obstacles because she knows

That these days will keep coming

And when they arrive you will beat the beast another time.

You will fight.

And you will win.

And I’m not saying that its gonna be easy

We both know Its fucking rough.

But you have broken cages,

Ripped concrete from your veins,

Carried the opinions of others on your back and buried them.

You are powerful.

And you are shaking the world

Cracking the earth into smiles

One spoonful at a time.


Why did you write this poem? 

I was initially asked to write a poem for a friend. Sam Jeffery was choreographing a dance piece that focused on living with fibromyalgia, neurological disorder with no cause or cure that makes the individual consistently tired and in pain. We talked a lot about what life was like with this disorder (in fact, the spoons metaphor is how Sam explains the tiredness) and I started writing the poem, focusing on my own experiences with mental illness and how others perceive an individual with a disorder or illness that is invisible.


About Liam

Liam Coady is a sweat’s drop of sunset, a wedge of a watermark, and a bit of a bush wolf. He is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta where he completed his BA in Drama with an English minor. A winner of the 2011 National Poetry Slam and a finalist in the 2014 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam, Liam has been recognized across Canada for his poetic endeavours. Along with poetry, Liam is also an actor, performance creator, dramaturge, and joe jobber. Currently, Liam has just released his chapbook Talks with the Immortal Jellyfish and is working with local musicians to record soundscapes and poetry.
You can look Liam up on his Facebook page (Liam Coady), Twitter (@TheLocoCoyote), and his current blog (liamspoetrycorner.tumblr.com)

Rise Up: Take Back the Mic Call for Poets

Rise Up: Take Back the Mic
Call for Poets

Your revolution starts now. Your revolution is the what-if, the could-be, the should-be, the will-be. Your revolution is politics, semantics and artistics. Gather up the critics, the cynics, the mystics, the mavericks, the beatnicks: this is your manifesto, so manifest your destiny.

Rise up, and take back the mic.

NextfestBreath In Poetry and Catch the Keys Productions present:

Take Back the Mic
The Nextfest Slam
Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 9pm
as part of the Rise Up! Nextfest Nite Club
Artery Edmonton (9535 Jasper Avenue)

Twelve emerging poets compete in a three-round elimination for a $500 top prize.


The twelve participating poets will be announced Tuesday, May 20 at Breath In Poetry’s Rouge Poetry Night (located at Rouge Lounge on 117 Street and Jasper Avenue).

Please send the following information to bdart@catchthekeys.ca by 12Noon Tuesday, May 20:

  • Name (include your legal name and performance name if applicable)
  • Email address
  • Twitter handle
  • Applicable links (website, youtube etc).

Please note: Each participating poet will receive a small honorarium, an all access festival pass and a festival t-shirt. In the case of Nextfest, emerging refers to artists under the age of 30 who are not professionally represented.

Questions? Contact bdart@catchthekeys.ca

Want to do more with Nextfest? We’re still accepting submissions for the Nextfest Nite Clubs. Submit!

David James Hudson



What up Family,

Hope you had a great week. The Slam finals were off the stage! The Winners were Nasra, Scott, Mega, Charllote and Kaz Mega.
A few of them will be there to spit some truth!

We are extremely lucky to feature a person who gave me the motivation required to grow as an artist. In 2010, he inspired me to continue writing my truth, and I have. David is an awesome human being, and a well read individual.

About David

David James Hudson’s poetry draws inspiration from the frenetic rhythms of transnational violence, the creaks and groans of scarred lands, and those fervent, urgent moves that shatter delusion and sustain hope. A librarian by day, David has been performing in communities across the country for more than a dozen years, sharing stages with poets and musicians, scholars and storytellers, and activists and artists of all sorts. He has been a featured performer at numerous music, writers’, and other cultural festivals, as well as participating in national and international poetry slam championships. David has also been a three-time member (and two-time Grand Slam Champion) of the Guelph Poetry Slam team, with whom he placed second nationally in the 2013 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Montreal.

Tomorrow at 9pm 117 and Jasper (Rouge Lounge)

Edmonton Poetry Slam Finals

Hello friends and Family.

Who? Breath in Poetry/Edmonton Poetry Festival
What? Poetry Slam Finals
When? Tuesday April 22nd doors open at 7:30pm Show starts at 8pm
Where? 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square. Stanley Milner Library Theater
How? As in how much? $10 all proceeds go to the poets

Tomorrow marks our 5th poetry Slam finals. This year we are having it at the Stanley Milner Library theater
come Support your local talent. The night will close off with a spectacular live performance by Winter Tribe.

Poets Competing for Finals

 1. Scott 22
2. Marlon 13
3. Nasra 13          
4. Hanaan 13
5. Kaz Mega 13
6.Charlotte 12
7. Medge 10
8. Megan 6
9. Morgan 3

Facebook Event https://www.facebook.com/events/1440252262887612/