The Breath In Poetry Collective (BIP) is a group of poetry performers and enthusiasts who volunteer their time to promote spoken word in the Edmonton Area. BIP is made up of Edmonton based poets Titilope Sonuga and Ahmed Ali. Since its inception in 2009, the Breath In Poetry Collective has seen membership by some of Edmonton’s most dynamic poets: Mary Pinkoski, Chris Krueger, Bert Richards and Nick Reilly. We have not only facilitated the Rouge Poetry nights on a weekly basis, but its members have also lead various spoken word workshops within the Edmonton Public Schools as well as the University of Alberta, bringing spoken word to many classrooms. Rouge Poetry is home of the Rouge Poetry Slam, the only slam in Edmonton that gives local poets the opportunity to compete as representatives for the City of Edmonton at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, A Spoken Word Canada (SPOCAN) initiative. Rouge Poetry is also home to the 2011 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Championship winning team. The Collective has also collaborated with several local organizations including the Edmonton Poetry Festival, Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage, The People’s Poets , Solidarity Week and several others.
Ahmed “Knowmadic” Ali
Ahmed is a Somali-born, Canadian-raised spoken word poet who has been writing and performing poetry for several years. He facilitates workshops under the Breath In Poetry Collective. He is also a member of the 2011 Edmonton Slam Team which won the National Championship at the Canadian Festival of Spoken word.
Titilope Sonuga is a Nigerian-born spoken word poet and winner of the 2011 Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award for her first book Down To Earth. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria the duality of her African and Canadian upbringing is clear in her distinct form of storytelling that follows in the oral tradition of her Yoruba roots. Her stories have been told on stages across Canada and have received recognition internationally. She is the founding member of the Breath In Poetry Collective and sits on the Spoken Word Canada (SPOCAN) Board and the Canadian Authors Association Membership Committee.
Past Members and Contributors
Bert “Dirt Gritie” Richards