Tomboy band among LGBT highlights at Verses Festival of Words

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      The fifth annual Verses Festival of Words, a celebration of the transformative power of words, brings another stellar lineup of slam poets, singer-songwriters, storytellers, performers, and more to Vancouver from April 23 to May 3.

      It's LGBT–friendly and there are a number of events that are LGBT–related or of interest to LGBT communities.

      Spoken-word performer Ivan Coyote will be performing in the part-anthemic, part-campfire story, part-instructional Tomboy Survival Guide (which premiered at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival), along with singer-songwriter Veda Hille and Kinnie Starr, on April 29. The show features an all-tomboy band in a multimedia show that will explore—and defy—gender and genres.

      Coyote will also be teaching a Live Performance Master Class on May 1 that will focus on channeling your energy into a reading and such aspects as memorization and body language.

      On the following day (May 2), BC Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf volunteer Maggie Harkins, who has worked with queer and trans communities as an ASL-English interpreter, will cohost the ASL Showcase, which will feature ASL poetry with diverse perspectives.

      To get an idea of what to expect, here's a video that provides some demonstrations of ASL poetry.

      On the same day (May 2), Sheri-D Wilson (aka the Mama of Dada) and Lishai Peel will be in the lineup of performers for Take Back the Mic, a showcase of performers who use the power of art to transform trauma.

      There's also a Poetry Master Class with Amber Dawn (who is launching her book Where the Words End My Body Begins on April 29) that will explore the relationship of poetry, social justice, and identities.

      Another master class that will be of LGBT interest is the Spoken Word Master Class with Sister Outsider on April 28. The workshop will explore the multiple identities of individuals, including the relationships between race, gender, sexuality, and languages.

      These are just a few highlights from the festival but to explore more, visit the Verses website.