Arts·Poetic License

Poetic License: 8 young poets speak their truth in anxious times

The series, now in its third season, gives spoken word artists a platform to open eyes.

The series, now in its third season, gives spoken word artists a platform to open eyes

As the world around us grows more and more uncertain, eight young poets speak their truth in the third season of the CBC Arts series Poetic License. In celebration of World Poetry Day, stream all eight videos below!

Watch the trailer:

In anxious times, eight young poets speak their truth in the third season of CBC Arts' series Poetic License. 0:47

To launch the new season, series creator Lucius Dechausay couldn't help but write this introduction in verse:

Today is the 20th anniversary of World Poetry Day
and CBC Arts is celebrating in a big way.
Eight spoken word artists with different themes and styles.
Tell your boss you'll be late, you may be here a while.

Poetic License is an ongoing series that gives 
artists a platform for spoken word to live.
They may open your eyes to the plights no one sees,
so send them some love with fingersnap emojis.

(Editor's note: the level of poetry in this series is...a bit higher than in this article — xoxo Lucius!)

From Randell Adjei — an author, leader and all around nice guy,
reaching intelligent souls everywhere with R.I.S.E.,
a weekly poetry venue and talent show,
for artists from my hometown (shoutout to Scarborough) —
to slam poet Twoey Gray, whose unique feminist views
may make you want to stand up for her Anthem of the Prude.
Prince Amoako's If I embodies every parent's greatest fear,
while Britta B shines with a message all young women should hear.
Carvela's empathetic tale speaks of sexual violence
and Faduma reflects on autism and growing up in silence.
Nevada Jane Arlow tears down sex and rebuilds from the dirt
and Nasim Asgari returns because this country is still on red alert.

Whether you agree or disagree, feel inspired or dismayed,
listen to these voices; you may see things in a different way.

Watch the performances:

Carvela Lee performs Sankofa: a poem of survival, intimacy and violence. "This poem means everything to me." 3:01
Nasim Asgari returns to Poetic License and performs her untitled poem for a world on red alert while keeping in mind human softness, compassion and love. 3:11
Prince Amoako performs If I, a powerful poem for Black lives in the face of endless injustice. 3:11
Nevada Jane Arlow performs Autobioegensis: a "ritual of revolt" against the expectations of what a person is. 1:35
Britta B performs Dear Young Woman and shines with a message all young women should hear. 2:49
Randell Adjei performs The Plight, an expression of his the challenge of "being African and Canadian at the same time" and the gift of being alive. 4:26
Twoey Gray performs Anthem of the Prude to reclaim the word "prude", for knowing yourself and for knowing that "no" matters. 3:37
Faduma Mohamed performs an excerpt from her play Autism reflecting on her brother, who has autism, and growing up in silence. 2:48

About the Author

Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.