I know you probably looked at the title of this post and thought I was making some kind of slang remark, but I'm not. This past weekend I attended Word on the Street, a literary festival here in Saskatoon. There are lots of cities that have them, and Saskatoon actually only started last year. Sadly, last year I was working and could only sneak out on my lunch break to catch one reading. This year, I had the day off and could spend as much time as I wanted wandering about.
If you've never been to this kind of literary event, they're great. They had tents set up all over the place, with authors giving readings, panel discussions and poetry slams. There were book and magazine sellers set up with booths, fun activities for the kids and music. It was a literary extravaganza! And I had a ball. I took in a reading from author Alice Kuipers, watched a poetry slam and saw a panel discussion featuring Yann Martel discussing his experiences with his book, Life of Pi, being turned into a movie (and got my copy signed). And do you want to know the honest truth? My favorite was the poetry slam.
I've never been one to enjoy poetry. I've written it from time to time, and there are a few poets I like (yeats), but I don't enjoy poetry books. I don't read them. This, I enjoyed. The poets were fantastic speakers. They made me split a gut laughing, almost cry with sorrow and made my heart swell up with happiness. They put on a wonderful show. And if they'd been scheduled for another show, I would have watched it again.
There's something about wandering around a place filled with literature, fellow book lovers and other writers. It's exhilarating and nurturing at the same time. I hope if you hear about an even like this near you, you'll find a way to make an appearance. You'll be glad you did.