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Words and Stories: Get Out and Hear Some


Creative risk is an exhilarating experience both from the creator’s and audience point of view.  Organizer Michel Beaudry experienced both sides in the recent Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival event as organizer and presenter of Words and Stories.  BookBuffet attended the event, a collective tribute by five varied artists whose riffs on a mountain theme delivered unique perspectives and performances. Read about TWSSF and then check the spoken word events in your neighborhood, a refreshing way to connect to words. 


April 23, 2005

Performers: Keven Brooker, Jeff Holden, The Reverend J. Michael Varrin,Kinnie Starr, Michel Beaudry


Opening speaker Kevin Brooker began with his re-telling of the day he experienced an avalanche – twice, a hilarious stroll down memory lane of his experience wintering in the French Alps as a ski-bum and chalet custodian. Kevin is a frequent contributor to Ski Magazine, Outside Magazine and other sports publications. 


Next up Jeff Holden a freestyle ski champion whose reverential mountain philosophy has been lyrically transformed into an MC/rap performance of potent poetry accompanied by a self-created haunting loop-track using the classic Australian Aborigine didgeridoo, a wind instrument popularly used in New Age and World Music. 

The third performer was local Michael Varrin, AKA “The Reverend”.  His eulogy to a local Whistler legend, Seppo whose 35+ years in the community as a forester who cut some of the original runs on the mountain, hosted wild parties and had a reputation for “the long walk home” after an afternoon/evening spent making the rounds at watering holes in the town.   Michael's parting gift—a ticket taped to each audience seat redeemable at participating local venues for a free toast to Seppo. 

Kinnie Starr has an outspoken confidence instilled no doubt by her part Mohawk defense attorney father and British-Irish psychologist mother who sent Kinnie to French public schools for her education. She integrates Mohawk, French and English into her MC/hip-hop fusion poetry and freestyle rhymes with edgy themes on sexuality, spirit and society.  With two CD’s and record labels chasing after her, Kinnie's N.American city tours have been written-up by Village Voice, MuchMusic, The NewYorker, Buzz and more.


Michel Beaudry wound-up the evening's performances with an old fashioned reading of the first chapter of his next book. He writes with visceral adrenalin about a trip east of Seattle into the Cascade Mountains where adventure awaits him. Even if you've never felt the exhilaration of going mach2 down a mountain chute where every fiber is on fire and every jump-turn could mean the difference between tumbling down an impossible vertical pitch or reaching safety, you were right there with Michel on the edge of your chair—an appropriate close to an eclectic mountain tribute with Words and Stories.

So check the newspaper for the next spoken word event nearest you, and experience some of the unique styles and genres hitting the street. Or come visit The Whistler Ski and SnowBoard Festival 2006.





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