The Terrace Public Library hosted an open mic event to celebrate National Poetry Month on April 25.
In partnership with Misty River Books, local poets, authors and songwriters presented their works to an audience.
Joan Conway, the associate representative for the League of Canadian poets and a member of Writers North of 54, says people don’t have to be a “professional poets” in order to share their writing at a poetry event.
“[Gatherings like this] are such a lovely, safe, warm and northern expression of what it means to live here,” she says. “It makes it a very rich experience because of people that could create these events and that bring us together in such a fun celebration being National Poetry Month.”
National Poetry Month was established in Canada in April 1998 by the League of Canadian Poets to bring together writers across the country and celebrate their contributions to Canadian culture.
Baxter Huston, a local author and poet, says there are many talented poets and musicians who “many people may not know” and will only perform at small venues.
“Partly, that’s why I come because this is one of the few places that I’ll say my poetry,” he says. “When you read your own poem, you’re just hearing your own voice… but when someone else gets something from your poetry, you can see it happen and that’s what’s magical.”
For many poets at the open mic event, their writing was a scope into their personal lives and what they are going through.
Hazel Lechasseur, one of the poets, shared with the audience that her husband recently passed away and how he always encouraged her to write. On a guitar he bought her as a gift, she sang some of her writing aloud with pairing chords.
“Poetry has always been important to me because even though life can be very turbulent and stormy, if you can put a rhythm or rhyme to your circumstances… it gives you the ability to feel control in your life,” she says.